“I’m stunned and disturbed that the MSBA has released the funds,” said Concord resident Lissa McKinney, who has been an outspoken critic of the changes to the school’s design.
“They are accepting the design changes with full knowledge that the designs are not what the community voted,” McKinney said. “In fact, it’s not the same building that was voted; in fact, it was trimmed by 15 to 20 million dollars; in fact, the design was changed.”
Durlacher, who took over as chairman of the building committee in July after its previous two cochairs resigned, said he can understand residents’ frustration to some extent. At Town Meeting, he said, residents were presented with drawings of the school along with a “value engineering” list that had about $7.5 million worth of features that the district intended to remove. The drawings included the features that the district planned to take out.
“If I ever had to hit a reset button, I’d go back and connect the value engineering list onto the drawings,” he said. “I think there’s a legitimate baseline in saying, ‘What I saw wasn’t what I understood.’ ”
Still, he said, the value engineering list was part of the proposal, and the MSBA voted on the same package of documents that the towns did.
Overall, Durlacher said, he is pleased with the state’s announcement.
“It’s a very affirmative confirmation that the documentation we submitted in August meets the terms and conditions of the project funding agreement,” he said.
Evan Allen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.