MSBA’s Designer Selection Process


The selection of the project designer is an open and competitive process in accordance with MSBA guidelines. For the Arlington High School project, a Request for Designer Services was advertised in September 2017. This RFS included criteria that the Designer Selection Subcommittee of the Building Committee and the MSBA’s Designer Selection Panel determined to be important and relevant to the Arlington High School project. These criteria included:

  • Related experience with large scaled MSBA projects
  • Innovative educational planning
  • Providing and maintaining a secure and positive educational environment during construction
  • Understanding of life cycle costs of operating the School as it relates to future operational budgets
  • Intent to design for Northeast Collaborative for High Performance Schools (NE-CHPS) criteria or US Green Building Council’s LEED for Schools (LEED-S) Rating System
  • Intent to design for a Zero Net Energy Building (ZNEB) including designing to the future possibility of operating without fossil fuels
  • Implementation of a CM-at-Risk Delivery Method
  • Experience with constrained and/or occupied building sites in an urban environment
  • Experience with phased occupied construction projects
  • Appreciation of the historical importance of the Arlington High School building
  • Dedication to community engagement
  • Outstanding reviews from clients and professionals in the industry

The Designer Selection Panel was formed by the MSBA and is made up of 13 appointed members and three representatives of Arlington. For this project, the Arlington members are Superintendent Kathleen Bodie, Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine and School Committee and AHS Building Committee Chair Jeff Thielman.

The 13 MSBA appointed members of the Designer Selection Panel are recruited from recommended candidates of the Boston Society of Architects (BSA), the American Council of Engineering Companies of Massachusetts (ACEC) and the Associated General Contractors of Massachusetts (the AGC) as well as MSBA staff, independent design and construction professionals.

The AHS Building Committee’s Designer Selection Subcommittee reviewed all applications as did the MSBA Designer Selection Panel. At a meeting in early October three designer firms were selected for interview. These interviews will be held in late October, with brief presentations by each firm as well as a short question and answer period. At the conclusion of the interviews, the Designer Selection Panel, together with the Arlington representatives, will vote to select the preferred firm.

Share this Post