Plan advances for new schools

Published 8:45 pm Friday, July 10, 2015

The plan for two new schools in North Suffolk is moving ahead.

Suffolk School Board members on Thursday authorized board chairman Michael Debranski and district Superintendent Deran Whitney to award one or more contracts for architectural and engineering services for two new schools in North Suffolk.

According to the request for proposals, a new elementary school would house 1,000 students, and a new middle school would house 650 students, with the flexibility to expand to 800 students.


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The winning bidder was required to “start immediately and complete each design phase on an accelerated schedule without sacrifice to quality,” the RFP says.

It will be run as a design-bid-build project, and the district may also decide to award a construction program management contract, for which architectural and engineering services bidders were asked to provide pricing and details if they are able to provide those services as an alternative, according to an RFP addendum answering questions from potential bidders.

The addendum also says sites for the schools have not been finalized. “The city is working on the site selection and evaluation through one of their contracts,” it says.

Whether the district awards separate contracts for each school or contracts them together will be “based on what best meets our needs,” according to the addendum, which also says both schools will open in September 2018.

The vote at Thursday’s board meeting giving Debranski and Whitney authorization to move forward did not include discussion, including on the number of proposals received. The district’s administrative offices are closed on Fridays during the summer, so officials were unavailable to answer questions about the proposals.

Debranski and Whitney are expected to give an update on their actions at the Aug. 13 board meeting.