School committee receives updates on feasibility study

BELCHERTOWN – The Belchertown School Committee met on September 20 and discussed an upcoming event and an update on the Owner’s Project Manager for the Jabish Brook Middle School Feasibility Study .

International Walk to School Day

On October 12, Belchertown Schools is partnering with Safe Routes to School (SRTS) to host an International Walk to School Day event and teach students about proper safety protocols when walking or walking to school. bike.

SRTS is an approach that encourages walking and cycling to school through infrastructure improvements, enforcement, tools, safety education and incentives to encourage walking and cycling to school.

According to their studies, 10-14% of morning rush hour car trips are school trips. SRTS initiatives improve student safety and physical activity levels.

Superintendent Brain Cameron initially said the plan was to walk from the town center around Chestnut Hill Community School and Swift River Elementary School. SRTS made a projection based on where the students live to make the route, but after conversations it will be moved to the football stadium.

“It’s still a work in progress, but the walking trail will now start with student drop-off at the stadium and go up through the high school and around Chestnut Hill to Swift River,” Cameron added. “It’s better because it’s on our campus and a number of students can attend.”

Assistant Superintendent Shawn Fortin said, “We wanted this event to be non-disruptive and not cause more traffic through busy crossings in the city, so we think having it on campus also helps reduce that.” All five schools have been registered for the event, which means they have reached the goal of 1,000 students and there will be a celebration in November which Cameron is still trying to confirm.

Cameron said once the plan is finalized with the walking route mapped out, permission slips and the map will be sent to students and families.

Owner’s project manager

Cameron also provided an update on the Owner’s Project Manager (OPM) position on the committee. Cameron and the schools were looking for an OPM after conducting a feasibility study for a new school or remodeling Jabish Brook Middle School. The study proceeded due to the size of the potential project.

He spoke about the background to the process which began with a meeting that took place on June 6 with the Jabish Brook construction committee and the OPM team was created. It is made up of eight members who had to write a request for service (RFS). The OPM committee drafted a narrative for the RFS that included background, project description, judging criteria, selection process and timeline, response content requirements, and a copy of the statement of claim. ‘interest.

The RFS was presented by the OPM committee to the building committee and was approved and cleared for the selection committee to advertise the OPM.

From there they had an informational meeting which three companies attended to tour the area.
After a two-week process in which applicants had to obtain their answers, compile a shortlist of applicants, and then interview those chosen, the final narrative of the selection was submitted to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA).

Cameron is awaiting confirmation from the MSBA to reveal who has been selected as OPM. The next step would require some members of the OPM committee and possibly the new OPM to travel to Boston for a panel review with individual MBSA members in October.

The school committee will meet again on October 4th.