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Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Risky business

NEWTON

Despite lingering questions about funding, Newton is plunging forward with its plans for a new Newton North High School. The latest step happened today, when the city officially put out a request for qualifications on Secretary of State William Galvin’s central register for public construction projects.

The advertisement seeks a so-called “construction manager at risk” – a title created under a new state law that allows municipalities to choose one qualified construction firm and then negotiate a guaranteed maximum price.

Any cost overruns would be paid by the construction manager. The city received permission to hire a construction manager at risk from the state Inspector General’s office three weeks ago.

The ad seeks a construction manager for a $108 million building job, that includes a “two story facility with a four-story classroom wing, an indoor swimming pool and related athletic facilities, a fieldhouse, an exhibition gymnasium, technical education facilties, athletic fields, landscaping and other site improvements and demolition of the existing high school building.”

The city’s Board of Aldermen will vote Monday on $1.3 million in funding to push the project along, $600,000 of which would be used to hire the construction manager at risk.

-- Ralph Ranalli

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