Braintree officials will begin evaluating a potential designer, builder, and operator for the two-sheet skating rink and junior Olympic-sized swimming pool at Braintree High School, after two bids for the proposal came into the town by the Friday deadline.
Although officials could not reveal who submitted the bids, or the details of their proposals, the applications will be analyzed in the same several categories.
Included in that evaluation will be a discussion of the applicants’ experience, qualifications, financial outlook, design quality, plan of services, plan of operations, and financing plan. The town will also look at the proposed appearance of the facilities and if there are any advantages for Braintree residents.
According to Peter Morin, chief of staff and operations, the mayor will compile an evaluation committee in the next couple of days, which will analyze both proposals and recommend one to the town.
From there, Morin and Town Solicitor Carolyn Murray will begin negotiations with the contractor over the details of the proposal.
“He will be appointing an evaluation committee in next day or two and we’ll jump right in. It shouldn’t be a lengthy process,” Morin said in a phone interview.
Although the timeline is up for negotiation, town officials are still hopeful of having the athletic facility ready by the fall or winter of 2013.
“It is negotiable. Everything would have to go perfectly to get everything done by next winter,” Morin said.
Town officials expected there to be interest in the project, especially after receiving several requests for the application criteria from a number of groups.
Plans for a new swimming pool began when retired tugboat captain August Petersen bequeathed $65,000 to Braintree upon his death in 1963 for the purpose of a pool for youth in the town.
The will specifically called for the pool to be located at Watson Park along the Fore River, which contains baseball fields, tennis courts, a basketball court, and a playground.
However, putting a pool in that location would have meant removing one or more of those recreational components, a concept that local residents opposed. As a result, officials received approval from Norfolk Probate and Family Court in 2006 to allow the pool to be built somewhere else.
Town officials received further permission from the state to allow for a bid to be put out on the design, construction, and operation of the facility all at once, rather than putting the items out to bid one by one.
Since then, the town has worked to solicit interest in the project, putting out bids this summer and prepping to make the long-touted dream a reality.
Now that the bids have come in and the selection process can begin, Morin said it’s making the project feel more tangible.
“Receiving the bids brings it one step closer … This is going to get done now,” Morin said. “I’m confident and we’re confident that this is becoming a reality.”