School Bond Construction Committee Interviews Architects

School Bond Construction Committee Interviews Architects
Posted on 04/03/2019
Members of the School Bond Construction Committee ask questions of potential architects and construction managers for $68 million building projects

Architects who serve Western North Carolina visited the Transylvania County Board of Education on Tuesday, to make their case for designing new and renovated school buildings in Brevard and Rosman after the passage of the $68 million school bond in November.

The School Bond Construction Committee interviewed eight architectural firms with offices in this region, leading to their eventual recommendation of the top three firms for the Board of Education to consider. A separate process will follow to review construction manager at risk (CMAR) firms this Thursday.

School board members, commissioners, and school staff sent advance questions through committee chair Norris Barger, to which firms responded in writing. Short presentations, followed by question and answer with each committee member, started at 1:30 p.m. for firms to expand on their answers and cover new topics of interest to the committee.

Board of Education chair Tawny McCoy asked firms how they would take the reins following the advance planning study and bond referendum, which built positive sentiment among voters for popular features at each site in Rosman and Brevard.

Commission Board chair Mike Hawkins asked how firms would approach designing the largest public capital project in the history of the county, or how they would adjust their approach in light of lessons learned in their previous work or examples from neighboring counties.

Superintendent Jeff McDaris focused on how firms would secure schools while making them appear and feel welcoming and nurturing for students and staff. Commissioner Jason Chappell asked how firms would preserve the learning environment for children studying in schools that will turn into construction sites for 18 months or more.

School board member Courtney Domokur pushed firms on their commitment to being on site during the building projects, and their experience administering multiple sites. Teacher Jake Raines pressed firms for details on making classrooms flexible for newer teaching and learning styles.

Visual displays helped committee members consider options for future development at both the Rosman and Brevard campuses. Presenters before the School Bond Construction Committee represented local, regional, and national firms, all with extensive work history in Western North Carolina, coupled with an office presence somewhere in the region between Charlotte and Knoxville.

Presenters included Cope Architects (Knoxville/Nashville), KSQ Design (Tulsa/Charlotte), McMillan-Pazdan-Smith (Spartanburg), Little Diversified Architectural Consulting (Charlotte), ADW Architects (Charlotte), Novus Architects (Asheville), PFA/LS3P (Asheville/Charleston), and Clark Nexsen (Virginia Beach/Asheville).

The committee will hear from five CMAR firms on Thursday, April 4, starting at 1:30 p.m. in the Education Center.

Barger alerted presenters that the committee would meet again to discuss its architectural and CMAR firm recommendations on April 11 at 6:00 p.m. also in the Education Center. The Board of Education expects to take up those recommendations in May.

More information on the school bond construction process is online at

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Commissioner Mike Hawkins addresses a question to architectural firms during interviews at the April 2 meeting of the School Bond Construction Committee.

Visual displays helped committee members consider various options for future development at both the Rosman and Brevard campuses.

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