Lavallee Brensinger Architects updated its Boothbay Region Schools’ buildings existing conditions report Dec. 15 with costs totaling over $33.5 million for 20 years of maintenance. Boothbay-Boothbay Harbor Community School District Building Exploratory Committee anticipated the update as LBPA architects guide the district through its campus development plan.
Taking Boothbay Region Elementary School and Boothbay Region High School separately in the report, architects quartered a 20-year timeline into years one and two, three through five, six through 10, and 11 through 20. The first quarter is described as “imminent failure/life safety or code issues” costing $5.35 million for BRES and $2.6 million for BRHS; the second, “nearing end of life/failure anticipated,” $5.8 million and $14.8 million; the third, “in good working order/some service required,” $303,000 and $1.4 million; and the fourth, “functional/keep maintained,” $2.8 million and $500,000. The projections included markups and annual cost escalation.
LBPA’s Lance Whitehead said the BEC will review the report and provide any desired changes ahead of three community Zoom sessions set for January. The sessions will let the CSD administrations, teachers, students, parents and the community further narrow or widen the scope, he said.
“We tried to document everything this building's going to need over the next 20 years – everything from correcting leaking windows and roofs to replacing HVAC systems we don't think are going to last 20 years.”
Alternative Organizational Structure (AOS) 98 Superintendent Robert Kahler said Design Group Collaborative of Ellsworth will provide a second opinion of building conditions and projected costs. CSD board members and community members requested the additional analysis with hopes a check on LBPA’s work will capture more community support for changes to the schools which could cost around $50 million for a renovation/new-build scenario. Since DGC typically uses several of the same engineers LBPA does, the firm went the extra distance to seek out different engineers to ensure impartiality, said Kahler.
“It is going to be a totally independent view. They are going to be coming out on-site for a couple days in January as well as meeting with Dave (Benner) as well as administration and others. We should have that report by the spring to be able to compare (reports).”
Boothbay Harbor resident Tom Perkins commended efforts, but said LBPA’s report seems to give the “absolute worst case scenario.”
“I get the feeling that the name of the game is to spend as much of our money as possible. I just hope that the third party evaluator will show us more of a best case scenario with the most cost-effective solutions because the truth as usual is somewhere probably in the middle. So, I think this is a necessary step to add to the credibility of the process.”
AOS 98 Facilities Director Dave Benner, chair of the BEC grounds subcommittee, said his group recently reviewed LBPA’s site survey; 12-15 people including CSD administration, teachers and community members attended, and the ideas for how to reshape the campus poured out for nearly two hours, he said. “We talked about everything from traffic patterns to putting gardens on the roofs, so we tried to look outside the box and ... identify exactly what most of our concerns were.”
Whitehead said LBPA civil engineers will sketch out some of the grounds subcommittee’s ideas to see if they fit with the campus. “It's a process of elimination. Eventually they'll get down to a handful of concepts, we'll be able to share them with this group and this group can give feedback so they can keep working.”
Download the 88-page existing conditions report on the CSD Building Exploratory Project site.