Superintendent says search for Owners Project Manager has begun

Woodcock Administration Building
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The North Attleborough School District is looking for an Owner’s Project Manager (OPM) to help with a feasibility study for rebuilding or renovating its high school.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Antouncci told the School Committee at its May 1 meeting that the School Building Committee will meet next week to begin the creation of an OPM selection subcommittee. He estimates the position will be filled by September of this year.

“No actual work will be done for a while,” Antonucci said. “We are officially in the feasibility phase and one of the first things we do in the phase is to hire an OPM.”

An OPM acts as the director throughout a project, offering guidance and recommendations.  Additionally, they are responsible for submitting a Preliminary Design Program and a Preferred Schematic Report of any proposed plan.

The OPM is a required position under the Massachusetts School Building Authority’s (MSBA) feasibility study guidelines for projects with construction costs greater than $1.5 million.

The MSBA brought the school district into the feasibility process on April 26. During this phase the district will collaborate with the MSBA to document the educational program, create a space summary, lay out existing conditions, form design parameters and propose the most cost-effective and educationally appropriate preferred solution to the authority’s Board of Directors.

Antonucci said the person selected for the OPM position will be an important figure throughout the process.

“It’s probably the most important part in this process because we are hiring our partner,” he said. “They are going to be guiding us for about the next six years.”

Town Council President Justin Pare and Vice President John Simmons, who both sit on the School Building Committee, said the best candidate for the position must have a good track record and a strong relationship with the community.

“Heading into next week’s meeting–I’d be looking for someone from a professional organization with a track record of developing plans for projects that were completed on budget and on time,” Pare said.  “It’s an important choice–one we’re going to have to live with for the life of the project.”