WELLINGTON SCHOOL BUILDING COMMITTEE
July 28, 2009
School Administration Building Conference Room
Meeting # 43
Committee Members Attending: Joe Barrell, John Bowe, Patricia Brusch, Laurie Graham, Mark Haley, Bill Lovallo, Lucy Pullen, Heidi Sawyer, Eric Smith
Absent: Mary McHugh, Joel Mooney, Ike Papadopoulos, Greg Poulos
Liaisons Attending: Amy Wagner, Bob Martin (Director of Facilities and Grounds)
Absent: Gerry Missal, Ara Yogurtian
Absent: Chris Carroll, PMA (Owner’s Project Manager)
Clerk: Chris Kochem
Observing/Guests: Two citizens
Mark Haley, Chair, opened the meeting at 7:35 am.
Mark Haley reported that a meeting of the modular subcommittee took place on July 27. At the meeting, concerns about the electric feed were identified. Additionally, they identified some contract edits that have to be done. They hope to go out to bid later this week. Joe Barrell will look into insurance requirements.
Pat Brusch presented two handouts with cost estimates for the modulars. She noted that, since the $2.1 million for the Wellington relocation was included as part of the vote at Town Meeting on June 1, 2009, the WBC is responsible for the relocation costs. Ms. Brusch then discussed the differences between the original budget for the modulars (Preliminary Budget, 5/4/09) and the revised one (Preliminary Budget Revision #2, 7/22/09). The original budget was for 29 modular units for a period of 24 months and the revised budget is for 30 units for a period of 21 months. There needs to be enough money in the budget to cover the additional three months, if needed.
Moving costs are also a concern. Bob Martin confirmed that the $89,000 moving allowance in Preliminary Budget Revision #2 covers the costs of a one-way move. That amount needs to be adjusted to account for returning to the Wellington (probably a smaller figure than the initial move). There was discussion about the cost of the two classrooms that are planned for the end of one of the modular structures and will be used for science and guidance services (one was added since the Town Meeting vote). There was agreement among the committee that it was important to stay on or under budget for the modulars. Bids will be requested for the base project with the science and guidance rooms to be bid as separate alternates, so that the WBC could decide to include them, one modular at a time. Amy Wagner expressed concern about
over-enrollment in grade one, which would create the need for an additional classroom.
Mr. Haley will mark up the documents to reflect the base project with two alternate sections. He hopes to have the documents ready for a vote at the WBC meeting, which will be held on Thursday, July 30. He noted that the insurance, electrical, and site statistics will be done by addenda. WBC requested that the School Committee schedule a meeting, between August 17-24, in case bids are over available funds and decisions need to be made.
- Contracts – Architect’s and OPM – should be ready for signatures next week.
- Project funding agreement – Mr. Haley will confirm that he is to sign.
- Site Survey – the site survey is not ready yet.
- Geo-environmental services – some testing has been done but there is additional testing that needs to be done. There was discussion and agreement that bids should be requested and that there should be at least three written quotes for the additional testing which includes the site survey, borings, chemical testing, etc.
Open Discussion (Committee Comments on Design Presentation):
Mark Haley summarized the two building designs for the location. The first is a “non-flipped” building, which has possible issues of accessibility because of the need for ramps due to the grade of the site. The elevator for this design would be a “4 stop”. The second building is a “flipped” version, which does not need the ramps for the grading. While the flipped building is closer to one of the neighborhood homes, it is set back 25~feet while zoning only requires 10 feet. The building size is less than the maximum 25% lot coverage that is allowed by zoning. The site will have two play areas, one on each side of the school. The loading dock will be on the Orchard Street side of the building. The grading of the flipped version eliminates ramps and stairs on each floor
and allows the use of a “3 stop” elevator, which is less costly. Committee members voiced preference for the flipped design.
Mr. Haley stated that the location of where buses drop off and pick up students is on the School Street side of the building and is separate from the area where cars will be parked. He expressed concern about the proposed loop in the parking lot, which will run between Orchard and School Streets. He stated that current staff needs are for a minimum number of 80 staff parking spaces. In addition, he recommended that there should be four handicapped spaces, with one handicapped van space and one handicapped space located in each of the parking areas of the building. If Wellington School enrollment rises to its capacity, the staff parking needs could grow to 93.
There was discussion about the possibility of whether some spaces could or should be marked as “compact” and whether tandem spaces could be used for some of the spaces. The committee will ask Glenn Clancy, Director of Community Development, if there is a requirement for the width and length of parking spaces. Glenn Clancy will determine the quantity of parking spaces needed and will put an advertisement in the newspaper, notifying the neighbors of his decision.
Lucy Pullen reported on availability of parking in the locations near the Wellington such as St. Joseph’s Church, All Saints Church and the parking area by the Underwood Pool, which is owned by the Town of Belmont. Ms. Pullen reported that a representative of St. Joseph’s Church has stated that St. Joseph’s is willing to provide overflow parking on an ad hoc basis only. Additionally, this property is actually owned by the Archdiocese of Boston. As with St. Joseph’s, overflow parking at All Saints Church has been allowed on an ad hoc basis. The parking areas that are near the Underwood Pool and the skating rink are relatively available for parking from 8:00~a.m.-2 p.m. After 2 p.m., sports programs use the lot. However, some of these areas are used for winter parking of equipment
and there is the potential that the library will be relocated to the parking area near the rink. Mr. Haley asked Ms. Pullen to set up meetings with representatives from St. Joseph’s and All Saints to confirm their wishes about their parking lots.
There was discussion about the parking lot for the lower school area and whether this parking lot could be made smaller so that there was no turn around in the lot. There was also agreement that, to prevent traffic bottlenecks, the committee members would like to eliminate the turn around in the parking lot that will go from Orchard to School Streets.
Deliveries to the kitchen will be made via the loading dock. Bob Martin, Director of Buildings and Grounds reported that the dumpster must be enclosed and screened. Mr. Haley will ask for more information about these requirements from Jonathan Levi. Mr. Martin said that, as part of their daily trash runs, the town of Belmont’s trash contract includes that a trash truck stops at each school each day to pick up trash after lunch. In addition, there is a once a week pick up of dumpster trash and recycling. Mr. Martin said that one goal is to expand recycling at the Wellington but that it is important that there is enough space to store the items that are being recycled between recycling pick up days.
Amy Wagner stated that it is important that there is a way for the students to go from the large play area to the grassy field. There was discussion that the committee will have to deal with the site’s grade change in order to allow this transition between the two areas. If by making the parking lot for the lower school smaller, which was previously discussed in the Student Drop-off portion of the meeting, there should be adequate space for a transition between the large play area to the grassy field. There was discussion about whether all entry and
egress doors are required to be handicapped accessible.
Pat Brusch stated that, per ADA guidelines, every entry or egress door must be handicapped accessible, particularly in new construction. She also stated that the Architectural Access Board is unlikely to give a waiver to the town of Belmont so that it makes sense to design to code from the start.
To assist WBC while members are discussing the site, Mr. Haley said that he would ask Jonathan Levi to supply a large site plan of the Wellington, which would be placed in the SAB Conference Room for WBC use.
Mr. Haley said that he was concerned that the play area for the lower school seems small. Amy Wagner said that she was satisfied with the size of the area for the types of activities that will take place in this area.
Amy Wagner asked if the type of turf being considered could cause scrapes if the students fall on it and was told that the newer types of turf are very soft and do not typically cause scrapes. There was discussion about the marking or striping of the turf for games. It will be very important to carefully specify the composition of the ink/dyes used for any marking/striping as some of these products can have high concentrations of lead.
The committee would like to get more details about the amount of blacktop that is planned for the site.
The member of the committee in attendance liked the color concept.
Bill Lovallo asked Bob Martin to research maintenance issues regarding the light shelves, including long-term maintenance and how often the light shelves will need to be cleaned and how long each cleaning will take. Mr. Martin stated that the school department’s budget allows the inside part of windows to be cleaned once a year, during the summer. There are no funds in the budget for cleaning the outside of the windows. Mr. Lovallo expressed concern about the horizontal acoustic material.
There was a question as to whether state regulations will allow the bathrooms for the Pre-K and K classrooms to be shared. Mr. Haley will ask Jonathan Levi or Chris Carroll for the answer to this question.
Lucy Pullen reported that she continues to give email updates and have meetings with the neighbors. She wanted to correct the mistaken impression on the part of the neighbors that the WBC has voted on a site plan. The WBC has not yet voted on a site plan. Ms. Pullen reported that the neighbors continue to express a preference that all of the Wellington parking be located on the St. Joseph’s side of the building and that the neighbors do not want to have a parking area on the Orchard Street side of the building. Anne Paulsen (90~School St.), a citizen observer, commented that some neighbors have a proposal regarding their concerns. Ms. Paulsen expressed her concern that some of the site plans may cause the need to eliminate the beautiful old oak trees that are currently on the property. There was agreement that
saving the oak trees is important.
Laurie Graham made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:15 am.