Auburn company wins West Tisbury School project with $1.1 million bid


The Up-Island Regional School District (UIRSD) on May 10 awarded Builder Systems Inc. of Auburn a construction contract for exterior renovation on the West Tisbury School. The company’s winning bid was $1,147,477. The bid cost estimate for the project was advertised at $1.3 million.

The costly and unanticipated repairs included in the West Tisbury School renovation project began with the discovery that windows needed to be replaced. A subsequent architectural review of the school building revealed other serious design flaws that date back to 1973 and have created other issues, such as roof leaks and heating and ventilation problems.

The UIRSD school committee awarded the project’s design contract to Keenan and Kenny Architects in Falmouth last June. The architects finalized the renovation plans in March this year.

In addition to the $1.147 million construction contract, other estimated project costs as of May 10 include $76,000 for architectural design; $120,000 for electrical engineering and upgrades; $50,000 for an owner’s project manager (OPM) and clerk of the works; $100,000 for work by unit pricing; and $100,000 for contingency fees, for a total of $1,593,477.

School business administrator Amy Tierney said this week the UIRSD selected Michael Josefek of Architectural Consulting Group in New Bedford as the OPM.

“We accepted bids from three OPMs, evaluated them, and interviewed Mr. Josefek as our top-ranked candidate, and he won,” Ms. Tierney said. “Now I’m negotiating his price with him.”

Mr. Josefek currently serves as Chilmark’s OPM on the Middle Line affordable housing project and was the OPM for West Tisbury’s town hall project, she added.

The project is on a tight schedule to complete work by September 1. School business administrator Amy Tierney said this week that Builder Systems has already been out to the school to take final measurements, get shop drawings done and approved, and order windows for an expected arrival date of July 1.

Although work on the project won’t begin until school ends, construction materials will be staged at the site in June. Builder Systems also has hired a deconstruction team from another company to come in and take off the school building’s shingles, pull out windows and doors, and strip the roof, as fast as possible, Ms. Tierney said. Then the building will be wrapped around the outside with a protective material and the window and door openings covered with plywood.

The deconstruction team kicks off work on the project on June 21, the day school ends.

Plans are in the works and alternate locations will be announced for activities usually held at the school during July and August, such as special education summer school, preschool, and the West Tisbury Library’s popular annual summer book sale.

Due to the intense construction schedule, a committee that oversees the renovation project plans to meet weekly over the summer. Initially the UIRSD school committee’s five members acted as the renovation project committee. However, in March, the West Tisbury selectmen objected that the town should have representation on the committee since it owns the school building and would pay most of the repair costs. They also argued in favor of appointing committee members with construction expertise.

As a result, the two groups agreed to revamp the committee. The selectmen appointed West Tisbury treasurer Kathy Logue, retired contractor Anthony Higgins, and roofing contractor Ken Edwards to the committee, Ms. Tierney said.

Recently the school committee voted to reduce the number of its representatives, which now includes Roxanne Ackerman of Aquinnah and Jeffrey “Skipper” Manter, who is also a West Tisbury selectman.