Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?
These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.
Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...
...seems to be working so far
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Now, when an architect is designing a new building, or drawing up a new design for an old building they are doing it with the input of the client, and there is a back and forth between the two. This is how a good end result is achieved. There may be issues along the way, such as a foundation too old, and weak to support a wall, and that information is acted on, and plans are changed accordingly. More cost, more work, but the challenge is taken, and overcome. The end result will show the attention to the detail.
Then there are times when the best made plans are shared, used, and completed, but it is not until the end user finds that there is a problem.
Now what? Well, a fix is needed, obviously, but why did the problem occur in the first place?
Some problems aren't noticed for a very long time, others are more obvious. Not being able to use the front door of a newly rehabed town building would fall into the latter category.
So, as I initially said, project managers, designers, builders, and architects know the ADA law, and part of their job is to advise the client, along the way, in order make sure that the law is followed, and the client is happy with the plans in order to comply with the law.
Communication. Oversight. Two essential ingredients in any undertaking, but for the second time in recent months we are discovering that there was not adequate communication, and most obviously, very little oversight on the town hall rehab project, and the Haynes and Main Street intersection construction.
There is a common theme here.
This is not a silly mistake. This is the front door to a $4.2 million restoration of a public building that cannot be used. The architects know the ADA law, and the architects knew which door was the front door, as did the project manager. Did they screw up, or did the town not respond appropriately?
We can only guess as to what happened next. Did the architect inform the town that using the front door would be an issue without redesign? Was the town told, but blew it off? Soon we will know what exactly transpired, and who was told what, and when. Even the current Chairman of the BOS is a bit taken back by this SNAFU.
In the end it will come down to oversight. Who has it? Was it done well enough? If not, then why not? One thing is very clear, we need more intense oversight here in town. We have a waste water treatment plant to be built, an elementary currently being built, and other projects that will follow in the coming years. Do we have individuals knowledgeable enough to catch the issues before we sign off on a project?
One more thing, $50,000 to $100,000 for a ramp at the front door? Really?
Click here for the web site for the project manager of the Town Hall and Center School Project.