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Selectmen Pick Architect, Manager For School Project

Following a closed session discussion September 3, the Board of Selectmen announced that Svigals + Partners has been chosen as the architect/engineers for the Sandy Hook School project, along with Consigli Construction Company to manage the construction.

In addition, selectmen announced that both BL and Turner will be involved in the project, continuing work they have performed for the Newtown community over these past months. BL will perform the civil engineering role and Turner will serve as the owner advisor for construction services.

First Selectman Pat Llodra told The Bee that she has had daily involvement with members of the Public Building and Site Commission (PBSC), school district officials, and consultants from Diversified who were supporting the selection process leading up to the final selections.

Mrs Llodra was also pleased that BL and Turner were going to remain involved as the new school project develops.

“These are two firms who have been working closely with us since January,” she said. “BL was charged with qualifying and reporting the pros and cons of each potential site under consideration for the new school, while Turner helped us vet the cost for developing a school facility on each of the various sites, and supporting us through the final decision [to locate on the site of the former school building].”

Both firms will be poised to move quickly following the anticipated positive outcome of an October 5 referendum, authorizing the town to accept state funds to replace the school.

“We’re hoping that the referendum is successful so that on October 7, we can kick off the hands-on work of asbestos removal and demolition,” Mrs Llodra said. “Our goal is to have the original building down by the second week in December.”

 

Reviewing 19 Applicants

The two firms selected were culled from a pool of 19 applicants from across the nation who responded to a request for qualifications in the late spring, according to PBSC Chairman Robert Mitchell. Once all the qualification packages were in, PBSC volunteers spent more than 300 hours pouring through the submissions, he said.

“We weren’t ranking them as much as we were reviewing each consideration and providing individual input on each [contender] to the entire panel,” Mr Mitchell said. “But when we finished, it was amazing how close we all were when we compared notes.”

From there, a short list of qualifying firms was scheduled for interviews that were attended by the PBSC volunteers, representatives from the school district and school board, the Legislative Council, and other town officials. Those interviews with five construction and seven architect firms played out over a three-day period, Mr Mitchell said.

“Once we got down to making the final decision it was tough,” Mr Mitchell said. “Here we had a host of the leading firms in their field. And we were both surprised and pleased that these firms were selected, because of the kinds of projects they have done for school districts.

“I think we picked the best team, which will provide the best fit,” he said. “I’m ecstatic about the final selection. I think together they will bring a personality to the new school that will fit and complement Sandy Hook.”

The first team meeting between town officials and the two firms occurred September 9. Mr Mitchell said both firms employ community outreach teams, and as such, he expects a lot of community engagement as the construction process moves forward.

“I’m talking about hardhat tours, web cams, maybe even some hands-on workshops for high school students interested in commercial architecture or building careers,” he said.

 

Expansive Company Portfolios

Beside its work designing laboratories, corporate, municipal, and residential buildings, Svigals + Partners has specialized in the design and construction of educational facilities since 1983. According to the firm’s website, company projects have ranged from feasibility studies for elementary schools to master planning, renovation work, and new construction of major new K–12 facilities.

The firm also brings decades of experience in master planning, programming, and design to their final constructed projects.

Among its high profile jobs are the FBI Connecticut Headquarters, New Haven’s Temple Medical Center and Yale-New Haven Hospital, the UConn Health Center, and K-12 schools for ACES, the Amistad Academy, and the cities of Bridgeport, Waterbury, and New Haven Public Schools.

Consigli Construction Co., Inc is a leading construction manager and general contractor headquartered in Milford, Mass., with offices in Williamstown, Mass., Portland, Maine, and Hartford. The company is now under the leadership of President Anthony Consigli and Vice President Matthew Consigli.

They represent the fourth generation of the Consigli family, which established the company in 1905 as a masonry contractor. Besides its work on school, college and university projects, the company has also performed across various market sectors developing landmark restoration, health care, museums, nonprofit, corporate and government, as well as residential projects.

Its website highlights eight recent K–12 projects the company has completed in Massachusetts, including the Newman Elementary School in Needham and the Avery Elementary School in Dedham.

Mr Mitchell said the next step is for town officials and members of the selected firms to meet with state Department of Education representatives September 13, to coordinate moving the first stages of the project forward immediately following the early October referendum.

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