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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Cohen: Newton North project to move forward swiftly

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Mayor David B. Cohen got a big win yesterday.
(Globe Staff photo by Bill Polo)

NEWTON

Buoyed by a solid win at the polls in favor of his vision for a new Newton North High School, Mayor David B. Cohen said late last night that he would quickly be taking steps to move the project forward.

Voters yesterday voted 58 percent in favor of the current site plan for a Newton North, which is estimated to cost $151 million. Cohen has said he wants to cap the cost at $141 million, which would still represent the most expensive high school ever built in Massachusetts.

Cohen said last night that he would move quickly to ask the Board of Aldermen to approve funding to finish the design work by the Gund Partnership of Cambridge.

He also said he would begin working to secure a contract with Dimeo Construction, the company that has emerged as the city's choice for a construction-manager-at-risk.

The construction-manager-at-risk designation was created under a new state law that allows municipalities to bypass competitive bidding processes and reach a contract agreement with a contractor for a maximum project price. After the agreement is reached, the construction-manager-at-risk, not the city, would be liable for any cost overruns.

-- Ralph Ranalli

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