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Board chooses architect for high school project

SALEM — The firm that designed the preliminary plans for the Salem High School renovation project will stay on to complete the project, provided it passes at the ballot box in March.

This week, the School Board unanimously voted to hire Lavallee Brensinger Associates of Manchester as the architect for the high school renovation project.

The contract with the firm goes into effect if the approximately $75 million project passes in March.

The contract is for a lump sum of $3.74 million, or about 6.5 percent of the hard project costs, according to Superintendent Michael Delahanty.

Delahanty said the anticipated hard costs of the project total about $58 million, with additional soft costs such as furniture, equipment, and project management bringing the total cost of the project close to $75 million.

“I believe this is a good contract,” said Delahanty. He said the cost is below the 7 percent of total project costs that the School Board had set as parameters for a contract.

Delahanty also emphasized the role Lavallee Brensinger has played in the conceptual design for the high school project as well as its work with the district on past projects.

“We have been a good client of theirs, and they have done good work for us,” said Delahanty.

School Board member Peter Morgan agreed that it is a good deal for the district.

“I’m impressed with their capabilities and their willingness to work with us,” said Morgan. “I’m confident that this will be a step forward and a step closer to a renovated high school.”

Board member Patricia Corbett said she was also happy with the agreement and has heard positive feedback about Lavallee Brensinger at community forums on the renovation project.

“As I’ve attended the open houses, people in the community have approached me and said they are confident in the architect,” Corbett

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