Superintendent Keith Laser announced Oct. 2, firms’ qualifications for work on a campus master plan were opened publicly Sept. 26. Sealander Architects of Ellsworth, Colby Company LLC of Portland, Lavallee Brensinger Architects of Portland, Oak Point Associates of Biddeford, and Lewis and Malm Architecture of Bucksport all submitted their qualifications.
Laser said the idea for the plan started when he contacted a Maine Department of Education architect who suggested a private firm look at the buildings and campus and provide a detailed report of how everything can be best used over the next 20 years.
“We've had two presentations on what this plan could look like, so you put $50,000 in the budget – I don't have any ownership over this thing, but you charged me to go look at it and see what we can do.”
Before the RFQ was formulated, Laser said the CSD's attorney told him to follow rules set forth by the Maine Bureau of Real Estate Management. Laser said according to BREM's rules, a committee of four to six members would have to be created with at least two owners of the school property; and the superintendent could not be one of them.
Said Laser, “Tonight, we need to talk about who wants to be on this committee and meets with these architects and decides who is the best firm to do the next step of the work.”
Trustees agreed two of the committee’s members should be from their board. Ashlee Lowery and Troy Lewis volunteered. Trustees also agreed Laser, Facilities and Transportation Director Dave Benner and one CSD Committee member should be on it. Chair Richard Hallinan asked Tom and Laurie Perkins if one of them would be willing to sit on the committee as a member of the public. “You probably would be the best ones to do it. You come to all the meetings.”
Tom Perkins asked, “Can we get back to you on that? We care, but I'm not sure I'm an expert when it comes to architecture.”
“None of us are,” said Hallinan.
“I think you know as much as I know,” said Laser.
Director of Security Kyle Canada raised concerns about the buildings' entry system being dated. Only two companies are licensed to serve DSX, the current system, said Canada, and most security companies are not renewing contracts with DSX. Cunningham Security Systems of Yarmouth is commonly used in the region and is the latest to end a contract with DSX.
“We budgeted for two laptops this year because our laptops are dying with the system. We called a company to come in and assess our door controls … and the recommendation they gave was to replace the system.”
Norris Inc. of South Portland gave Canada a quote: $8,602.33 for Boothbay Region Elementary School and $5,734.88 for Boothbay Region High School.
Canada said $2,800 is budgeted for the new laptops, leaving just over $11,500. The costs include 200 identity cards that will have to be made for CSD employees; the new system will come with one year of free maintenance.
Laser said Edgecomb Eddy School is looking at about $5,000 in security upgrades and the need is being considered urgent. “I said 'Why didn't we put this in the budget if it's so important?' And the answer was 'We didn't know these things were in as bad a shape as they're in.'”
Trustees voted unanimously to spend $8,602.33 and $5,734.88 for a security system for BRES and BRHS.