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This week superintendent Gordon Smith announced that the ELHS School Building Committee chose Jones Whitsett Architects as the designer for the town’s upcoming high school renovation or reconstruction.

The project is estimated to cost taxpayers between $80,000,000 and $100,000,000, according to the superintendent’s “Request for Designer Services.”

The same document also states that the town must meet state-imposed quotas for “minority owned business enterprises” and “women owned businesses.”

The Commonwealth’s Affirmative Marketing Program (AMP) established under M.G.L. Chapter 7C, Section 6, and Governors’ Executive Orders helps ensure that minority owned business enterprises (MBE) and women owned businesses (WBE) certified by the Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Office (SDO) have opportunities to participate.

These regulations require a minimum “MBE” participation of 6.6% and a minimum “WBE” participation of 15%.

After listing the 30 different categories of venders needed for the project (e.g., surveyors, civil engineers, landscape architects, etc.), the document states in bold letters

The minority and women-owned business enterprises must be selected to perform services addressing the categories of work listed above.

According the “Project Schedule” construction is expected to begin in July 2024 and be completed in August 2026.