Weymouth, MA – Mayor Robert Hedlund announced today that the Town of Weymouth’s Library Construction Committee has recommended Hill International (Hill) of Boston to serve as Owner’s Project Manager (OPM) of the Town’s Tufts Library Construction Project. Hill will act as the Town’s agent in managing all phases of the building project, including procurement of an architect and design team, development of building plans and specifications, bidding for the construction project, and actual construction.
Hill is currently serving as OPM of the Town’s Maria Weston Chapman Middle School Building Project, and has extensive experience with libraries, managing more than $3 billion in library projects worldwide for facilities that house over 65 million volumes. Its team’s experience includes work for the Boxford and Needham Public Libraries, several branches of the New York Public Library, the Washington DC Public Library, the W.E.B. Du Bois Library at U-Mass Amherst, and the award winning Cambridge Public Library expansion.
“Hill has outstanding credentials in the field of library work; not to mention our very positive experience with the firm as OPM for the Town’s Chapman Middle School Building Project,” said Mayor Robert Hedlund. “I am pleased with the Library Construction Committee’s recommendation, and look forward to working with Hill on this valuable project for Weymouth.”
As OPM, Hill will remain independent of any designer, general contractor, and sub- contractors to become involved in the library building project. The firm will be directly responsible to the Town and will act only in the Town’s interest and at the Town’s direction in every stage of the project. Hill’s first task will be to assist the Town’s Library Construction Committee in selecting an architect who will complete the building’s design.
“Now that we have a great project management team on board, we can begin the next phase of designing and then building a transformative library for Weymouth,” said Library Services Director Rob MacLean. “As OPM, Hill’s charge is to ensure that the project comes in on time, within budget, and meets all the needs of our patrons and community. The Library Construction Committee made an excellent choice. I’m looking forward to having Hill on the team.”
Under Massachusetts law, cities and towns are required to appoint or hire an OPM to oversee any public building project estimated to cost $1.5 million or more. Municipalities are also required to use a qualifications-based selection process, meaning that any OPM must be competitively chosen on the basis of qualifications and experience, without consideration of price.
To hire an OPM, the Town released a publicly-advertised Request for OPM Services (RFS) on November 15, 2017. A not-to-exceed price of $700,000 was set as the Town’s maximum contract obligation. Written responses were received from 12 firms, and were evaluated by members of the Library Construction Committee using weighted evaluation criteria identified in the RFS documents. The three highest scoring firms were short listed for interviews, held January 8, 2018.
Upon completion of the interviews, the Library Construction Committee vote unanimously to recommend Hill as the project’s OPM. Hill was the committee’s highest ranked firm in both written response scores and interview presentation scores.
The Tufts Library Construction Project is a $33 million building project to demolish the existing library, now more than 50 years old, and reconstruct the building as a modern, 21st-century library. The new building will provide an additional 17,000 gross square feet and will included an expanded children’s department, a new local history center, 10 study rooms, a variety of programming areas for different user groups, a comprehensive technology infrastructure designed for flexibility and expansion, and a suite of community meeting rooms available for after-hours use.
In July of 2017, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) awarded the Town a $12,085,184 Provisional Construction Grant to help finance the Tufts Library project. Hill’s assigned Construction Manager and Project Representative for the project currently serves as Chairperson of the Town of Swansea’s Library Building Committee, and is Hill’s in-house resource for expertise with the MBLC and the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP). In addition, Hill has retained the services of one of the nation’s foremost library planning consultants, Anders Dahlgren, to support the Tufts Library’s final design. Dahlgren has planned over 5.5 million square feet of library space across the United Sates, and has authored several books on library design, which have been used by the MBLC for program guidance.