Westport school groundbreaking is October 8

Latest bidding goes better, excavation to start October 15

Architect’s rendering of the new Westport grade 5-12 school.   Posted Thursday, September 26, 2019 7:18 am

Architect’s rendering of the new Westport grade 5-12 school.

Posted Thursday, September 26, 2019 7:18 am

By Bruce Burdett

WESTPORT — The first bits of work on Westport’s new grade 5-12 school have begun and the town will celebrate the occasion with a groundbreaking ceremony at the Old Colony Road site and 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 8. All are welcome.

Recently, a fence was completed around the work location perimeter, most of it where the demolished middle school once stood, said Robert Gilchrist of Agostini Bacon Company, the job’s Construction Manager At Risk (hired to assure that the school is completed without additional cost surprises).

Work trailers have arrived, he told the School Building Committee last week, and Eversource will install a conduit carrying power and communication lines across and beneath Old County Road any day now. It should take a day and involve closing one lane at a time.

Target date to start actual construction is Tuesday, Oct. 15, Mr. Gilchrist said. That’s the day they intend to begin excavation for the footings — all foundation work should be complete by the end of December.

With that done, steel work will start and run through the winter. Steelworkers, Mr. Gilchrist said, “don’t care how cold it is” or whether it’s snowing. The project remains on pace to open in time for the start of school in September 2021.

Bidding goes better

There was also “some excellent news” to report regarding bids and costs, the committee was told, certainly better news than dominated agendas months ago when a first attempt at bidding came in $10 million over budget.

In bidding for the first phase of the project, three “major trades” — site work, concrete and structural steel — came in a combined $650,000 under budget, the committee learned.

  • Concrete work (footings, foundation) drew multiple bids for work that had been estimated to cost $3.2 million. Agostini proved to be the winning bidder with a bid at the $3.2 million amount that it had projected — other bids ranged from just above that number to $4.5 million.

  • Mr. Gilchrist said that Agostini, as construction manager, submitted its bid 24 hours before the work was put out to bid so that it would not have the advantage of seeing what competitors proposed.

  • Structural steel … “We started with seven bidders,” Mr. Gilchrist said, a couple of which backed out due to other jobs. The budget was $4.5 million and the low bid came in at $4.62 million. Wining bidder was Structure SBL, a Canadian firm.

  • Site work … The slight overage in steel work was more than offset by bids for site work. Budgeted at $8.6 million, the lowest bids came in just under $8 million. The winner was Catalano Construction, a Rhode Island company.

That good news was offset somewhat by word that $65,000 needs to be transferred from the contingency account to cover possible overages in another account.

Playing field lights

A local youth league has asked that it be given the former middle school’s playing field lights and poles that will otherwise be knocked down to make way for the new school.

The league (which was not identified) has said it can truck the lights away to a new location but does not have the funds to pay for them or for having them taken down.

One member said the committee should know first the cost of taking the lights down carefully rather than simply knocking them down. He said he wants to be sure that that expense isn’t greater than the actual value of the lights.

Mr. Catalano estimated that the lights and poles could still be worth around $30,000 and that the cost of taking them down carefully would be a fraction of that.

The new middle/high school’s total cost is set at $97 million, a figure that cannot change since roughly 40 percent of the cost is to be reimbursed by the Massachusetts School Building Authority.

Taunton breaks ground on long-awaited new Mulcahey school

Elementary students took part in the groundbreaking ceremony for the new James L. Mulcahey Elementary School by holding signs and leading the Pledge of Allegiance.  Taunton Gazette photo by Charles Winokoor

Elementary students took part in the groundbreaking ceremony for the new James L. Mulcahey Elementary School by holding signs and leading the Pledge of Allegiance. Taunton Gazette photo by Charles Winokoor

TAUNTON – A little more than a year from now a new James L. Mulcahey Elementary School will be standing tall and proud on Clifford Street.

In anticipation of that momentous occasion a groundbreaking ceremony was held Friday morning on the site of the $65 million project.

The new L-shaped, combination three and single-story building is being built next to the existing school, which opened in 1954.

The new Mulcahey school will also replace the circa-1915 Hopewell Elementary School on Monroe Street in the city’s Whittenton neighborhood.

A total of 735 students from both locations will attend the new school.

“It will replace two great schools, each with their own storied history,” said Taunton Mayor Thomas Hoye Jr., as he addressed a crowd of local and state officials, city employees, construction company representatives and school officials.

The Massachusetts School Building Authority is covering $40.5 million of the project’s cost, with the city paying the balance of $24.5 million.

Read more at the Taunton Gazette

Millis school project on time, under budget

Construction, as of mid-August, underway at Millis' new elementary school.  The old school, where students are attending this year, is in the background. [Contributed Photo/Elementary School Building Committee]

Construction, as of mid-August, underway at Millis' new elementary school.  The old school, where students are attending this year, is in the background. [Contributed Photo/Elementary School Building Committee]

MILLIS – Students and staff heading back to class at Clyde Brown Elementary School Wednesday will see that construction on the site’s new school did not take a summer break.

“The site work is done, the foundations are all done,” Elementary School Building Committee Vice Chairwoman Diane Jurmain said. “We are working toward closing up the building, so we can work in the winter, making it weather-tight.”

Town Meeting approved the $51.76 million new elementary school in November 2017, to replace the aging Brown Elementary. Students will attend classes in the old building this year, which is on the same property as the new building, then move into the finished product next fall.

“The kids will be in there a year from now, just about,” Jurmain said.

Structural walls are all up, she said, and contractors poured the concrete for the new school’s gymnasium floor last week. Roof work is underway, and exterior masonry work should start this week.

The construction is a Massachusetts School Building Authority-approved project, which means Millis will see about $20.95 million in state funding to get it done.

So far, Jurmain said, the project is on time and under budget.

“We aren’t always able to say these things,” Jurmain said. “It’s a collaborative effort, and we have a really good team working on this. ... If we can end up under budget, we’ll be thrilled.”

The actual building could be complete as soon as July, Jurmain said, then road and sidewalk work will begin, and the old school will be demolished. An official opening is scheduled for the Monday after Labor Day 2019.

This school year, Jurmain said, contractors expect to make the building weather-tight for the winter by November. The walls, roof, and exterior masonry should be finished, and the majority of the remaining work will be inside.

That’s less distracting for students, Jurmain said.

“When we first started the school work, the kids were probably paying attention (to the big construction equipment),” she said. “Once the building’s closed up, there won’t be so much to see.”

The construction site is completely separate and fenced off from the current school site, however, she said, and deliveries and certain types of work have been scheduled outside of school hours or around events. That lessens the impact on students and staff in class.

For residents, the biggest change will be a new traffic pattern this school year.

There’s a new traffic light and left turn lane on Rte. 109, and the two roads flanking the old school – Park Road and Park Street – have changed purpose slightly.

Park Road is now two-way, and the only way to head west on Rte. 109 when leaving the school. Cars leaving via Park Street will only be able to take a right and go east.

School begins district-wide Wednesday. To see a graphic of the traffic changes and keep up-to-date on the project, head to the Millis School Project Facebook page, at https://www.facebook.com/millisschoolproject.

See original article at Milforddailynews.com

New Atlantis Charter School just about ready for students

By Brian Fraga / The Herald News
Posted Jan 12, 2018 at 3:01 AM

FALL RIVER — The lights are on at the future home of Atlantis Charter School. The hot water was just turned on the other day.

“No leaks. That’s a good sign,” Mike Lauro, the associate executive director of the Atlantis Charter School, joked as he walked through the school’s new building near the South Watuppa Pond on Tuesday.

The 98,000-square-foot building — designed to accommodate 1,400 students from kindergarten through the 12th grade — is tentatively scheduled to open for classes when students return from their winter vacation on Feb. 26. For the next month and a half, construction and electrical workers will be putting the finishing touches on the building, which features three wings open-concept classrooms, cafeterias, common spaces and a gymnasium.

Administrators and teachers will also be working on the logistics of moving equipment, office furniture and other materials from Atlantis’ three current sites in Fall River to its new facility on Jefferson Street.

“There’s a lot of hard work to be done on the logistics,” said Robert Beatty, the executive director of the Atlantis Charter School.

On Tuesday, Beatty toured the new building with other Atlantis officials. He showed the separate wings that will house the lower school — Grades K-6 — and the upper floors reserved for upper grades. Beatty walked down wide hallways designed with large windows to illuminate those spaces with natural light. He poked his head into a science classroom and pointed out the projector above the white board, which every room will have.

“Like the rest of the building, this represents a big upgrade for students at Atlantis, in terms of wide hallways and classrooms that are close together to be able to facilitate teamwork,” Beatty said. “Our kids and our staff do a fantastic job in the spaces that they have now, so we’re excited to give them a better resource to be able to do even more than what they’ve done so far.”

After more than 20 years in operation as one of Massachusetts’ oldest charter schools, the founders’ vision of a K-12 school with a connection to the waterfront has finally just about come to fruition.

The school’s 40-acre site will provide opportunities for rowing and sailing. Also, officials are planning to build an athletic stadium to support multiple varsity, club, elementary and middle-school sports across the local community.

“Educational attainment is the primary driver in the economic growth of any community, and we applaud Atlantis Charter School for their commitment to expanding their campus and the new and innovative programs that will make a meaningful impact,” Nicholas Christ, president and CEO of BayCoast Bank, said in a prepared statement.

On Tuesday, Atlantis Charter School also announced that it has received an $80,000 gift from BayCoast Bank to support its newly-launched capital fundraising campaign. Atlantis is looking to raise $2.5 million to help fund the construction of the $35 million state-of-the-art campus. Construction began in the Fall of 2016.

“The project is ahead of schedule and under-budget. You can’t ask for much more. We’re excited,” said Patrick Long, of Partners Insurance Group and BayCoast Bank who is also an Atlantis Charter School board member.

Beatty and Lauro said they wanted the project to be as cost-effective as possible and looked for savings wherever they could. Beatty added that the capital campaign will help Atlantis provide students with an optimized learning environment and invest more money directly into academic programs.

“Overall, this is a huge upgrade for all our kids,” Beatty said.

See original article at Southcoasttoday.com

Groundbreaking Held for Millis Elementary School

Millis Elementary students pose for groundbreaking photo

Millis Elementary students pose for groundbreaking photo

Millis, MA – A groundbreaking ceremony was held recently to celebrate the start of the new Clyde Brown Elementary School in Millis, Massachusetts.

The new 90,000sf Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) energy-efficient facility is designed around a forward-thinking educational plan with flexibility for the future. A key feature of the design is to deploy the media center out to academic pods to create learning corridors that are expanded and useable for multiple modes of teaching.

Superintendent of Schools Nancy Gustafson welcomed guests, faculty, and students to the ceremony. “The outcome [of this school project process] truly exceeds my dreams,” she said. “We will have a building that not only brings the fifth grade back into a more developmentally appropriate setting but also alleviates the crowding in the middle-high school.”

Agostini Construction is the general contractor, and Compass Project Management is the OPM. The project architect is Tappé Architects.

Read more at High Profile

Agostini/Bacon Completes New School



Peabody, MA – Agostini/Bacon Construction Joint Venture recently completed the new J. Henry Higgins Middle School, a $70 million, 226,000sf state-of-the-art building consisting of a new 500-seat auditorium, a 500-seat cafeteria, gymnasium, classrooms, and administrative spaces. 

The project was designed by Dinisco Design Partnership of Boston. 

The new school was built adjacent to the old middle school that was subsequently abated and demolished. New playing fields with additional site improvements are currently being constructed where the previous middle school was located.

The project exceeds the new standards under the commonwealth of Massachusetts sustainable building codes and will achieve LEED Silver certification.

Read More at High-Profile

New campus gives Atlantis Charter solid footing, with a water view

FALL RIVER — It was part of the original vision of the founders of the Atlantis Charter School, to serve students from kindergarten through the 12th grade on a campus that has a connection to the water.

After more than 20 years in operation as one of the commonwealth’s oldest charter school, that dream is now becoming a reality as construction of a new $36 million project has begun on more than 40 acres located on the shore of South Watuppa Pond.

“That’s how the school was founded, with those ideas in mind. The school has done really wonderfully over the years, but we’re really excited now about finally feeling this can come to fruition,” said Atlantis Charter School Executive Director Robert Beatty.

On Monday, Beatty and Associate Executive Director Mike Lauro gave The Herald News a tour of the construction site where crews from Agostini Construction were working, including pouring concrete into already constructed forms.

Beatty said the anticipated opening of the new campus is March 2018. Ground was broken at the more than 40-acre site in late November.

Read more at Herald News