The Concord-Carlisle Building Committee on Wednesday said “No” to building around an on-site bus depot, which would allow the district’s transportation department to operate there.
A week after it , the CCHS Building Committee decided it would be too costly to design around the bus depot in terms of dollars and the potential impact on getting the project back in position for state reimbursement.
According to the presentations on Wednesday, Sept. 12, demolition of the bus depot was presumed in the already over-budget project costs, and potential expenses accrued through altering the design plans would have had to be absorbed by the budget.
Of the five scenarios presented by the project architects on Wednesday, the least expensive carried a price tag of a little over $2 million. The highest plan had a projected cost of around $4 million.
“I just don’t see there’s $2 million in this project to take out and allocate,” said Michelle Ernst, a member of the building committee.
The options presented would have delayed the project as many as four months, which contributed to the additional cost, and would have potentially required resubmission to local permitting boards and the Massachusetts School Building Authority, which has already suspended its reimbursement due to the project’s escalating costs.
While some residents suggested scrapping the plans altogether and starting over since they felt project began to run off course – from the public’s vision and the approved budget – when the design first excluded the bus depot, others felt the whole project should not be held up working on the bus depot.
One commenter actually compared the bus depot debate to a hypothetical multimillion-dollar home being held up by what to do with a sub-zero freezer.
With that being said, CCHS Building Committee Chairman Stan Durlacher did begin the meeting by introducing for the record a statement in which the committee acknowledges that it has erred in providing a “serious lapse of oversight” during the design development phase of the project.
“We have taken responsibility for our mistakes as a committee and we have made a number of changes in our oversight, procedures and management,” Durlacher said. “We apologize to all the project stakeholders and herby pledge we will be diligent in our efforts to bring the project in line with the project funding agreement in an open and collaborative manner.”