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October 15, 2015

Notes from October 15, 2015 Devotion Building Committee Meeting


Dave O’Hara, Co-Principal of Devotion School, will join the Building Committee. Dr. Connelly will remain on the Building Committee replacing Dr. Lupini.


Tony Guigli presented the Project Updates:

   ·         The Building Commission voted and approved an early release construction package in order to keep the renovation project timeline from July 2016 – August 2018.

   ·         This means that 25% of the construction package will be bid and paid for in April 2016, including abatement, demolition, and shoring; piles; site work and site excavation; concrete and concrete foundations; and steel.


Shawmut Design and Construction presented on the benefits of an early release package, which would not only keep construction to the single phase, 2 year timeline, but potentially save 1-2% on construction costs.


Dr. Connelly gave an update on 30 Webster St, otherwise known as the off-site, leased transitional space for K-4 during renovation:

   ·         Conditions of the lease have been agreed to.

   ·         A Letter of Intent has been signed both by Mary Ellen Dunn, Deputy Superintendent, and the owner of 30 Webster Street.

   ·         It is critical that the lease be executed by the beginning of November when the option of the temporary modular units will expire.


Four companies have expressed intent to submit offers for construction of the temporary modular units on the land that is currently the basketball courts, behind Devotion School. The bid deadline has been extended by 1 week to October 30th.


The Artificial Turf Field was the next item on the agenda:

Present at the meeting:

Erin Gallentine, Director of Parks and Open Space, Town of Brookline

Dr. Alan Balsam, Director of Health and Human Services, Town of Brookline

Cathy Offenberg, Landscape Architect, CRJA


Dr. Alan Balsam presented that in the past decade he has investigated crumb rubber infill in association MRSA, lead exposure, and currently, lymphoma.


In the case of MRSA there was no risk found. In the case of lead exposure there was no risk found. In the case of lymphoma, Dr. Balsam finds there is no scientific evidence that links crumb rubber infill to lymphoma. That said, he feels that the prudent thing to do is to look at more benign alternatives to crumb rubber.


Erin Gallentine presented on alternative infill materials. She explained that there are 3 artificial turf fields in Brookline currently with crumb rubber infill: Soule Rec, Downes, and Skyline. Over the past 10 years she has investigated synthetic fields. Crumb rubber is the most widely constructed infill material. Parks and Open Space only purchase from vendors who are Green Guard certified. Other options for infill materials are:

   ·        EDM or virgin rubber

   ·        TPE or virgin plastic

   ·         Organics - cork, coconut, rice husks

   ·         Nike Grind – ground up Nike sneakers


Shawmut discussed costs for some options, greater than a base cost for crumb rubber:

   ·        Purefill – cork and sand mix: $50K

   ·         TPE: $60K

   ·         Nike Grind: slightly cheaper than either of these options


Some of these infill alternatives would require an irrigation system which would also drive up costs.


Dr. Connelly and Dave O’Hara weighed-in in support of whatever infill material is best for the children. They expressed that the safety of the children is the number one priority.


Because the deadline for the infill decision isn’t until next September, when the contract will be issued, the Building Committee agreed to defer on a decision until more information is provided. A grid spreadsheet will be compiled and presented at a future meeting with alternative infills and cost estimates, including potential irrigation system costs for maintaining the field.


Helen Charlupski, School Committee member, raised the issue now being expressed by several Devotion parents, 1 teacher, and community members regarding saving the trees along Stedman St. Helen explained that she, Cathy Offenberg, and some others walked the Devotion School grounds after Friday’s Site Working Session. They looked at trees, with the intent of identifying those that could be saved. Follow-up will need to be done with CRJA. Thomas Brady, Tree Warden and Town Arborist, will review all trees slated to be cut down for the renovation.