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Council OKs contractor for HS project

Selected from original pool of 11 applicants

Wearing Southbridge hats to signify they’re “part of the team,” Consigli Construction’s Michael Walker, Dara Colleary, Michael Murphy, Kevin Beachman and John LaPerle (in no particular order) pause a moment with School Building Committee Chairman Scott Lazo and School Committee Chairman John Jovan Jr. after Monday’s Council meeting. Gus Steeves. (click for larger version)
May 10, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — By a unanimous vote, the Town Council put the last major entity responsible for the new school project in place Monday, naming Consigli Construction of Milford the project's construction manager at risk.

According to Project Manager Jeff Luxenberg of Joslin-Lesser, Consigli got the nod after a review process that received 11 applications and interviewed five firms after getting approval from the state's Inspector General.

"If the town's troubled projects like the DPW building had to go through this process, they'd never have had the problems they had," School Building Committee Chairman Scott Lazo said, noting the committee conducted extensive background checks. He said Southbridge "will know monthly costs and problems" before they become major because Consigli's main role will be to act as the town's "eyes on the ground."

School Committee Chairman John Jovan Jr. agreed, saying "There's tremendous checks and balances throughout this project" that never existed a few years ago.

The role is essentially the same as the old-style general contractor in that Consigli will hire and manage the various specialty subcontractors (such as plumbers and electricians), with additional pre-construction oversight responsibilities and various limits on costs. For now, the council only approved funding for the latter, to the tune of $12,500 a month up to $100,000, but with the knowledge the School Building Committee will come forward seeking more money to purchase steel and, later, actually build the school itself when the planning process has determined its maximum cost.

See Wednesday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of communities.

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