WAKEFIELD — The Town Council this week approved nine products to be used as part of the Wakefield Memorial High School building project which will be designated as “proprietary.” The designation means that these items will not have to go through the public bidding process.

Procurement laws in Massachusetts require material specifications for publicly bid construction projects to be written such a way as to promote competition. For every item specified, the specifications must name at least three brands or provide a description that can be met by at least three vendors or manufacturers. Alternatively, the specifications may detail the performance of a material such that it can be met by at least three manufacturers. 

However, if there are “sound reasons in the public interest”  competition may be restricted to one product or manufacturer. The determination to carry a proprietary item must be  documented in writing and made available promptly upon request. Justification for the proprietary item must be included, the specifications must notify the bidders that a proprietary product is required, and the specification must include an ‘or equal’ clause. 

In a memorandum to the Town Council, School Superintendent Doug Lyons identified nine products which the school district desires to list as “proprietary” items in the bid documents. 

One of the products is the Genetec Omnicast security system.

“The public interest is best served when the components of building security are fully compatible with each other and consistent across multiple schools,” Lyons’ memorandum states. “Incompatibility between systems or complications from having multiple manufacturers could lead to a breakdown in their usefulness when they are most needed, such as in a ‘live’ event. Also, specifying a single manufacturer or vendor allows the District to efficiently manage operation, maintenance, repairs, and personnel training. The District plans to roll out the below systems across all Wakefield public schools for a unified approach to building security.”

The security system includes six separate components that the school would like to list as “proprietary,” including:

  • The Genetic Omnicast security camera system, which will manage security video across multiple schools, including the Wakefield Memorial High School.  
  • Genetec Synergis Access Control System to manage security card access across multiple schools, including the Wakefield Memorial High School. 
  • HID Signo Card Readers: These card readers are the most current technology available in the market and are fully compatible with the Genetec Synergis access control system. 
  • Mercury Security Card Reader Interface Module to connect to the Genetec Synergis access control system.  
  • HID Mercury Security Card Reader Controller, which support up to 64 card readers each and connect to the main security panel.
  • Digital Monitoring Products XR550 Alarm Control Panel.

Another product on the “proprietary” request list is the Won-Door FireGuard system Horizontal Sliding Accordion Folding Fire Barrier. FireGuard is a two-hour fire rated folding door that is typically pocketed into the wall and mostly hidden from view. When the fire alarm is activated, the door will unfold and create a 2-hour rated enclosure. The FireGuard door has been reviewed with the Wakefield Fire Department and they have indicated that they are amenable to the use of the product. 

Another listed product was Okawood Insulated Glass. After extensive study, it was agreed that Okawood,  a triple-glazed product with an integral wood grid angled to provide optimal glare and solar heat gain control, was the ideal product for the Media Center. Beyond the beauty of the product, it meets all the requirements that WMHS and the design team are aiming to achieve.

“Everest 29 SL Cylinders” by Schlage Door Hardware were also on the proprietary request list. According to Lyons’ memorandum, “The Town of Wakefield requires the use of Everest cylinders from Schlage to achieve continuity with current keying systems and anticipated keying systems throughout their schools and municipal buildings. Wakefield seeks to maintain an efficient, comprehensive keying strategy to support best maintenance and building safety practices.”

The Permanent Building Committee recommended that approval of the above-listed systems as proprietary would be in the best interest of Wakefield Public Schools and the Town of Wakefield. 

The Town Council vote was 6-0 to include the above listed products on the “proprietary” list and exclude them from the public bidding process.