November 6, 2008

Rimcoski: pick the cheaper architects for school project

A city councilor is upset that officials plan to hire the more costly of two architectural firms vying to draw up blueprints for the proposed 900-student school on Pine Street.

The Forestville School Building Committee agreed recently  to spend an extra $365,000 to hire a Hartford firm rather than the Massachusetts-based Drummey Rosane Anderson, Inc. that prepared the initial plans for the $132 million project to construct two kindergarten to eighth grade schools.

“It’s upsetting,” said city Councilor Mike Rimcoski, who called it a blow to taxpayers to shell out more than necessary for the project.

The school panel is seeking the city’s green light to hire Tai Soo Kim, Partners and Architects of Hartford for $2.14 million to draw up the detailed plans necessary to move ahead with the school slated for construction on the former Crowley dealership site.

It bypassed DRA, the runner-up in the architectural competition, which proposed doing the work for $1.785 million, Rimcoski said.

Superintendent Philip Streifer said that the architects need to finish their work in a year so the city can get the state’s blessing on the blueprints in time to have a construction contract signed by June 13, 2010.

He said the timetable is extremely tight, but it can be done.

Rimcoski said that city councilors are ready to ask the school panel to take another look at the architect selection and either change the pick or justify spending more.

“We’re not talking about peanuts. We’re talking about an 18 percent difference,” Rimcoski said.

Rimcoski said that DRA should be able to get off to a faster start, too, because of its familiarity with the project.

The veteran GOP councilor said that he has no personal stake in the decision.

“I wouldn’t know DRA if they ran over me with a truck,” Rimcoski said.

Rimcoski said he just wants taxpayers to get the possible deal.

City councilors plan to meet with both school building committees at 6 p.m., Monday, Nov. 17 to go over the projects and perhaps give final approval to the proposed Matthews Street site for the second school.

Educators hope to build the two new schools by 2015 and to shutter four older buildings – Memorial Boulevard Middle School and three elementary schools: Bingham, O’Connell and Greene-Hills.

Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at


Anonymous said...

Hey Rimcoski: Cheaper isn't always better. Get the most qualified one.

Stop making these stupid comments.

Anonymous said...

More expensive isn't necessarily better. Watch the dollars.

Steve Collins said...

My kids attend one of the schools that the Hartford firm designed, Bristow Middle School in West Hartford. It's absolutely first rate, for what it's worth.

Anonymous said...

screw the taxpayer once again. and also what will happen to the pre- k classes? throw them aside i guess. why not pre-k thru 8?

John Reek said...

Craig Minor told me that the 17th wasnt possible because of a scheduling conflict with Cliff Block.
Is the meeting set and posted?

Anonymous said...

Better yet...PICK NO ONE!

Steve Collins said...

I don't know if it's posted. I do know that the date has already been shifted around at least once. It wouldn't surprise me if it changes again. I'll update on here when I hear anything and will try to get the final date in print, too. - Steve

Reality Hurtz said...

The archetect is not as important as the ' geniuses ' telling them what they want .

Anonymous said...

Where are the fiscal conservatives at City Hall?
Thank heavens Rimcoski is speaking up.

First, they spend an extra $30 million to build new schools rather than upgrade and rehabilitate the existing ones at much lower cost.

Second, they spend an extra quarter million ++ for a new group of architects. This is probably the first example of a long line of "cost overruns".

Third, Suprise, suprise! They propose buying extra acerage for which the state won't reimburse.

Fourth, they are proposing to put every child on a school bussoon for the state only pays a fraction of the transportation cost.

Everyone is losing their jobs, the economy is going into the tank for years to come.
But the BOE just keeps running up the price tag to run their operations.

Just another reason to vote NO.

What are they going to do with all those abandoned public schools in the heart of the city?
More costs, with more heartaches.

Anonymous said...


what did they do with Patterson
What did they do with Callen?
What did they do with the Old High School?
What did they do with the old school on Farmington Ave?

Anonymous said...

Yep, they dumped them for a cheap price to any developer who would grab them, or handed them over free to any non profit group who would take them over.

Boy, those neigborhoods sure turned out grande. Folks are just scrambling to move right in.

Pity the individuals who invested in homes in those areas. Those educationally abandoned places have evolved into places than now have persistent "problems" related to housing and all that comes with it.

Enough said.

Anonymous said...

“I wouldn’t know DRA if they ran over me with a truck,” Rimcoski said.

Then he must have slept through every presentation the Board of Education made on K-8, because they were the consultants. Rimcoski is ripping off the taxpayers every time he cashes his council paycheck.

Anonymous said...

Patterson is a problem?

The Historical Society is a problem?

The Dumont Building is a problem?

Only the OTB which the city approved is problem at Callen

The Board of Ed building is a problem?

Anonymous said...

Where was Russo on this one?

Anonymous said...

No new schools!

No new schools!

No new schools!