At last night’s Board of Selectmen meeting, the town’s governing board approved Tai Soo Kim Partners, LLC, architects, and BVH Integrated Services, mechanical engineers, as the architectural and engineering team to create the schematic designs for the Miller-Driscoll School renovation project.
The selection was made following a presentation by the Board of Education‘s Building Committee, which narrowed down the pool of architectural and engineering candidates from 11 who initially submitted proposals, to four who were interviewed, to the final candidate.
In an email following the presentation, Karen Birck, the BOE member who serves as the vice-chair of the building committee explained that currently the project is not fully funded nor approved for any renovations at this point; the only portion that is funded is for the architectural and engineering team to create a schematic design based on the project’s Statement of Requirements that were approved by the BOS and on the Educational Specifications approved by the BOE.
Once the schematic design is completed, it can be used by professional estimators to give the Town of Wilton a ‘referendum grade’ estimate for the cost of the project. Based on that cost, the BOS will decide what figure to put before the electorate and when to do so.
As Birck explained, construction timeline can’t be completed and renovations can’t begin until the town electorate approves funding for the project, if they do so at all.
During its presentation to the BOS, the building committee recommended Tai Soo Kim Partners for several reasons, including, “the depth of understanding that the TSK principal who will be in charge of the project has of Wilton’s goals and budget for the project as well as his understanding of the challenges of the project,” as well as the firm’s experiences with projects similar to the M-D renovation. The report cited TSK’s “experience with Pre-K, K-2 and special needs school building and renovation projects and in particular their experience with challenging ‘like new’ renovations of occupied school buildings.”
In addition the committee cited the fact that TSK was the only architect that had a school security consultant as part of its team.
TSK has worked on other school and building projects for Wilton in the past. According to the presentation, “The Miller-Driscoll project [would] be the third project that the firm has designed for the Town. In 2000 the firm designed a phased renovation/expansion of the Town’s Cider Mill School for grades 3-5. Subsequently, the firm designed a significant expansion and renovation of the Wilton Public Library and that project was honored by both the Connecticut State Library and the Design Institute of the Chicago Athenuem as an exemplary execution of library planning and design.”