Selectmen Provide Update On New Senior Center & New Town Hall Building Projects

WILMINGTON, MA — At last week’s Wilmington Selectmen’s Meeting, Selectman Greg Bendel – the board’s representative to the Senior Center Building Committee – and Selectman Kevin Caira — the board’s presentative to the Town Hall/School Administration Building Committee — provided updates on their respective projects.

Both committees are in the process of hiring architectural design firms. These firms will work with the Town to (1) evaluate the best sites for a new senior center and town/school administration building; (2) develop schematic designs for each project; and (3) create cost estimates for each project.

“This stage of the effort is expected to take at least six (6) to eight (8) months depending upon the ability to arrive at consensus around the location and preliminary design,” Town Manager Jeff Hull recently explained in Town Topics. “Once this work is completed, articles would be prepared for an upcoming town meeting to seek funding for the continued services of an owners project manager along with funds for final design and construction.”

The Senior Center Building Committee appears to be about 2 months ahead of the Town Hall/School Administration Committee in their respective processes.

New Wilmington Senior Center

Selectman Greg Bendel reported that the Wilmington Senior Center Building Committee met on Wednesday, March 31, 2021 (video of meeting) and Thursday, April 1, 2021 (video of meeting) to publicly interview the four finalists to complete a feasibility study and schematic design for the project.

The Committee interviewed the following architectural design firms: Caitlin Architecture; Caolo & Bieniek; Dietz & Company; and BH&A.

“Each of the four candidates were very impressive and it was a difficult decision for the committee to make,” noted Bendel.

The Committee ultimately selected Dietz & Company in a near unanimous vote. Wilmington Elderly Services Director Terri Marciello was the only member that did not give the firm her #1 vote, but did indicate she would comfortable moving forward with them.

Dietz & Company designed many of senior centers in Massachusetts, including centers in Marlborough, Greenfield, Ludlow,

Town Manager Jeff Hull, Assistant Town Manager Kerry Colburn-Dion and Project Manager Dan Pallotta, of P3, will be meeting with Kerry Dietz, President of Dietz & Company, to negotiate the terms of an agreement.

Interestingly, during their public interview, Dietz notified the committee that her firm also responded to the town’s RFQ regarding architectural services for the new town hall/school administration building project. She expects to be a finalist for that process as well.

New Town Hall/School Administration Building  

Selectman Kevin Caira reported that proposals for architect/design services for the the Wilmington Town Hall/School Administration Building project were due to the Town Manager’s Office by Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 2pm.

Six firms submitted proposals. Copies of the proposals were distributed to committee members to review and rate.

The Committee is expected to meet via Zoom during the week of April 26, 2021 to establish a short list of firms to publicly interview in May.

Of note, last week, School Committee Chair Jennifer Bryson appointed Jesse Fennelly as the School Committee’s representative to the Town Hall/School Administration Building Committee. Fennelly replaces Steve Bjork, who resigned from both committees in February.

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