On June 24, the School Modernization Committee hired the consulting firm of Milone & MacBroom to conduct an enrollment study prior to making any decisions regarding the remodeling and reconstruction of school buildings.
Chief Operations Officer Vin Masciana initially sent out four bids for the study, and the Committee received two proposals — one from NESDEC and the other from Milone& MacBroom.
The Committee asked that the project managers, Colliers International, submit a letter of recommendation as to which firm they felt would be best for the work required.
“Upon review of both proposals, Colliers Project Leaders recommend award to Milone & MacBroom …” read Colliers representative Chuck Warrington. “We believe that, while NESDEC’s proposal addresses the request for proposal provided by Mr. Masciana, it does not include geo-mapping services requested. The RFP clearly stated firms are required to provide mapping showing existing school districts, as well as mapping for any possible redistricting scenarios.”
Another reason cited for the decision was that Milone & MacBroom’s overall proposal seemed to be much more “elaborate and detailed” than the one presented by NESDEC. Colliers International also mentioned in their letter that Milone & MacBroom’s “local expertise and deep understanding of local trends occurring across the state will be beneficial to the school modernization studies.”
The cost of the two proposals was relatively similar. The NESDEC proposal was estimated at $14,560, without any geo-mapping services offered, while the Milone & MacBroom proposal came out to be $19,720, which includes the geo-mapping.
Ultimately, the Committee agreed with Collier’s recommendations.
The study will determine what the Town can expect when it comes to the number of students for which the District will be responsible in the coming years. School Modernization Committee member Matt Bowman mentioned that those numbers could be influenced by some recent developments that have submitted proposals to the Planning and Zoning Committee.
“I sit on the (PZC) and we have 100 [apartment building] units coming in for a public hearing in two weeks,” he explained. “… It also should be noted that in the future … there may be a complex that has been approved for 300 units. The potential exists that we could have 400 apartments coming online in the next 12 to 18 months.”
Bowman mentioned this in reference to the importance of the enrollment study, how it will impact the entire committee and what that might mean for the Cheshire School District. Board of Education Chairman Tony Perugini also stressed the importance of the enrollment study.
“You can never have too much detail on these enrollment studies,” added Perugini. “We learned this lesson in 2015 and ’16 on the last plan …”