Council to hire clerk of the works for school building project

Council to hire clerk of the works for school building project

NORTH PROVIDENCE – The construction of two new schools in town should have a qualified and experienced person making sure the job is done right, say members of the Town Council.

Councilor Raymond DeStefanis said at the April 3 council meeting that he had the impression after attending planning meetings last year that a clerk of the works would be hired, but said “somewhere along the way” the idea seems to have fallen by the wayside and no one appears to be moving forward with it.

It’s “in the town’s best interest,” said DeStefanis, to have someone with experience oversee construction of a new Stephen Olney Elementary and McGuire Elementary, to ensure that the schools are built based on need, built on time, and built on budget.

As the entity issuing the $75 million in bonds for the project, the town should hire the clerk, to be paid for out of proceeds from the bond, he said.

Residents have put faith in local officials to get the job done right, he added, and it’s incumbent on leaders to make sure the planning work of the North Providence School Committee and a facilities committee is followed through on.

Councilor Manny Giusti amended the motion from DeStefanis to add that the council has to approve the person chosen on the school side to serve as clerk of the works.

Councilor Alice Brady asked if the Rhode Island Department of Education would be OK with the town hiring a clerk of the works at this point in the process of building the schools, and DeStefanis responded that officials will reach out to RIDE to make sure the move is acceptable.

The council unanimously approved the measure.

DeStefanis also received support from his colleagues in forming a council capital fund. He said it’s been frustrating to have the council repeatedly allocate funds for certain items, such as the renovation of council chambers, only to shift the money to something else the following year when the work isn’t done. A council capital fund would hold the money until the project is completed, he said.

Also at the April 3 meeting, Councilor Steven DiLorenzo requested a motion to have any item coming before the council for consideration be accompanied by documentation explaining the proposal five to seven days in advance of a meeting.

As an example of an item he knew nothing about, DiLorenzo cited the request on the April 3 agenda to expand the liquor license for Camp Nowhere on Smith Street. He said he had no idea prior to the meeting that the owners are looking to add an annex to their business.

Under the request from DiLorenzo, every item will now require a “synopsis we can look at” to “make an educated decision.”

Other examples of items that had far too little information heading into a council meeting were the request to join a lawsuit against manufacturers of opioids, and Mayor Charles Lombardi’s proposal to purchase two new properties, said DiLorenzo.

The council will vote at its next meeting on exact verbiage for the new rules. If appropriate information isn’t provided as required, the council would have the option to delay a vote on a request until a later date.

Comments

I would love to know how much the town of NP is paying on overhead for the school building project. So far they are paying for 2 architectural firms, a project manager/ general contractor, and now a clerk of the works.
Someones friend must need a job.

go to the next council meeting and ask. If you don't like the answer file a FOIA request.

After working on commercial construction projects for over 35 years, many many many school projects, I can assure you that hiring a Clerk of the Works is a total waste of money. The Clerk is the owner's representative on a project. He oversees the architect and the general contractor. Why hire an architect and a general contractor if you don't trust them? 90% of the time, the Clerk of the Works is not nearly as knowledgeable as the architect and general contractor. NP's history of hiring architects (Mancino Associates) and general contractors (Calson Corp), are hysterically bad. I know they won't be on this project, and I'm sure they'll have a "real" team.