The environmental scientist who came up with the idea of bringing a maritime college to Scituate says he is concerned about the timing of a recent bid package for the planned schoolâ€™s site.
On Monday, Jeffrey Rosen, chairman of the Marine and Environmental Education Alliance, questioned the deadline set by Town Administrator Patricia Vinchesi, who released a a request for proposals last week. Groups interested in bidding on a 31/2-acre lot on the Driftway â€“ to build a community college that specializes in marine and environmental technology â€“ must submit their proposals by Dec. 30.
Rosen said members of his nonprofit organization, who began advocating for an â€œocean campusâ€ in Scituate several years ago, will submit its bid before the deadline. But he said it wonâ€™t be easy.
â€œItâ€™s in the middle of the holidays,â€ said Rosen, vice president of the Environmental Information Services Group for Clancy Environmental Consultants. â€œI have a full-time job and so do the other members, so weâ€™ll have to work on this thing non-stop every weekend (until the deadline). We have a tremendous amount of work to do.â€
Last year, Rosen unveiled plans for a two-story, 30,000-square-foot facility that would serve up to 1,500 students per week. He said Massasoit Community College has expressed interest in being the academic administrator.
However, he said Massasoit likely wouldnâ€™t be able to sign on as an official partner before the bid deadline because the school first needs authorization from the state Department of Education.
That could hinder the allianceâ€™s bid, Rosen says, because the year-old nonprofit, on its own, doesnâ€™t have the financial credentials the town may be looking for.
â€œIf their intent is to the find the best bid on paper, there is a chance another group will come in and take the project,â€ Rosen said.
If there is a dearth of viable bids by Dec. 30, the town can extend the deadline, Selectmen Chairman Anthony Vegnani said.
â€œThe idea of the RFP is not to present a deadline that is unachievable,â€ Vegnani said.
He said he understands Rosenâ€™s concerns, but the townâ€™s goal is to have a bid proposal ready for voters at the spring town meeting.
â€œThatâ€™s the process. Thatâ€™s capitalism,â€ he said. â€œThereâ€™s no group that has any advantage over any other group.â€