Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 11-21-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | NOVEMBER 21-27, 2019 LINCOLN 3 LINCOLN – Members of the com- mittee overseeing the construction and renovation of Lincoln High School say they are becoming increasingly con- cerned about the project's budget. As of last week, the construction team led by the architecture firm SMMA and construction company Gilbane, and overseen by project managers from Colliers International, had still not come up with a guaran- teed maximum price, or GMP. Settling on a GMP would give the LHS Building Committee a clearer picture into the project's budget. In the meantime, the committee has been eating away slowly at the project's contingency fund to pay for change orders. During last week's meeting, the committee was asked to approve more than $25,000 in change orders, including numerous adjustments that were not accounted for in the proj- ect drawings. "Our concern is, where is the bot- tom? Paying $50,000 to $100,000 a month is going to chew up our contin- gency," said Michael O'Connell, who heads the budget subcommittee. "We're looking to stop the change orders, but this is still a significant amount of money coming out of the contingency that we were hoping to spend on other things." The contingency fund is between $2 and $3 million. Top concerns right now include the cost of furniture and technology, which were subtracted from the bud- get and set as alternates. The commit- tee hopes to tap into the contingency fund to pay for the $910,000 in furni- ture and $860,000 in technology. O'Connell said the GMP could "make a lot of these issues moot, or maybe worse … we don't know." Exasperated, committee member Michael Babbitt's head dropped into his hands. "Where … is … the GMP?" he asked. "This has got to end. The only way it does is with a GMP. We're over $1 million to one contractor in change-orders." Derek Osterman, of Colliers, said Colliers and SMMA would be negoti- ating the GMP numbers with Gilbane. "We will then likely follow up and meet with them on a fairly lengthy list of clarifications and exclusions. We're making progress," he said. "We want to make sure we get the best, more appropriate deal possible." Osterman said the process was "tricky" because "this project has a number of challenges and is a renova- tion coupled with new construction. "We're trying to be fiscally respon- sible while including everyone's wants and needs," he said. "I think there have been some special challenges but I believe we're responding to them." Supt. Larry Filippelli said he's wor- ried about the technology and furni- ture budget. "We need to be thinking about the kids, moving them into the new space and what they'll be moving into, which I hope is not a space with old desks and old tech," he said. He's also concerned that the technol- ogy currently selected for the project, such as projector screens and docu- ment cameras, is outdated. "We're building a 21st century learn- ing space and we need to be thinking 20 years into the future," he said. "To me, that tech is already 15-20 years old. We have to have some discussions on what the tech should look like and how much it's going to cost." Osterman said they'd proceed with getting ready to purchase phase one of furniture, but that the funds will be taken out of the contingency. "That's the risk," he said. Town Administrator Joe Almond said, "we're struggling with budget, but if we're going to buy technology it's been over two years since we spec'd it. I think it's very reasonable to look at what has changed." The only credit to the budget was noted at the end of the meeting. The town will purchase new lockers through Sourcewell for $115,131, down from the initial low bid of $260,503. The news was met with cheers from members of the committee. Committee members alarmed at LHS cost overruns By NICOLE DOTZENROD Valley Breeze Staff Writer nicole@valleybreeze.com IN BRIEF Make a turkey from old books at the library LINCOLN – Create a Thanksgiving centerpiece from an old book at the Lincoln Public Library, 145 Old River Road, on Monday, Nov. 25, at 6 p.m. or Tuesday, Nov. 26, at 10 a.m. Old books have been prepped and participants will fold pages to create the body and then use hot glue to add feathers. This class is for children age 11 and older accompanied by an adult. All materials and instructions are pro- vided by a staff librarian. Those interested must register on the library's events page at www.lin- colnlibrary.com .

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