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Spending Continues While FHS Project At A Standstill

Posted in: Falmouth News, Top Stories
Dec 5, 2008 - 4:52:04 PM
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FALMOUTH- In an effort to minimize expenses, the Falmouth High School Building Committee has reduced its monthly compensation for project manager Gilbane of Needham and has temporarily discontinued utilizing the services of project liaison Judith Garvey until the second phase of the high school renovation begins.
This comes a month after Falmouth Finance Committee member Gardiner L. Lewis questioned spending these amounts while work on the project has nearly come to a standstill.
Until the change was announced at the building committee’s monthly meeting yesterday, Gilbane was being paid roughly $54,000 a month; Ms. Garvey was being paid roughly $2,800 per month; and architect DiNisco Design Partnership of Boston was being paid roughly $25,000 per month.
This month Gilbane will be receiving $15,500 for their services, committee Chairman Donald D. Johnson said.
Yesterday, Mr. Lewis urged the committee to look at its expenditures carefully. He noted that if they continue to spend $25,000 per month for the architect, the committee will run out of money, as appropriated in the specific line item for the budget, in seven months.
Likewise, he said, at $54,000 per month, the committee would run out of money for Gilbane in 12 months.
With the additional $18.8 million that was approved by residents at the ballot box, Mr. Lewis noted, there is only a finite amount of money the board has to work with. Looking at these expenses, he said, “we are getting onto thin ice.”
FHS Building Committee member Patrick J. Callahan said the board has done an analysis of the numbers several times and is in the process of revising its figures, and contracts, with Gilbane and DiNisco.
“We are fully cognizant of the $18.8 million,” committee member John K. Scanlan added.
If they are not, Mr. Lewis warned, the committee will run into major difficulties.
In terms of project progress, architect Kenneth DiNisco said, the general contractor TLT Construction Corporation of Wakefield, was given a punch list with monetary values last Monday. That list itemizes work that is either incomplete or deficient for phase one of the project.
They now have 60 days from that date to address those items.
Among the issues still to be addressed are leaks in two stairwells in House A as well as malfunctions with the HVAC system.
The leaks, Mr. DiNisco said, were discovered following the most recent rain storm and TLT has been trying to remedy the problem.
The malfunctions with the HVAC system relate specifically to heating control issues in the wellness center and the auditorium. Currently, the school is operating those areas manually although they should be on automatic timers if the system were performing properly.
Because many of the punch list items are in House A, which is currently occupied with students, Jonathan Depina, the project manager of Gilbane, said work cannot be done during school hours. He anticipated some of the work will be done during the Christmas break, while other work will be done after school hours in coordination with school administrators.
As phase one nears its completion, Mr. Scanlan also said he anticipated that mediation between TLT and the town should end by next Thursday.
Mediation has been ongoing since the end of October to resolve a variety of disputes, including the town’s allegation that it overpaid TLT nearly $2 million for unfinished work. In addition, mediation will determine whether TLT will continue as the general contractor for the remainder of the project at a fixed price and schedule.
Mediation is being handled by James V. Ryan, a retired judge and attorney for JAMS/Endispute in Boston.