Architects Unveil Dazzling Visions For New School
School Board Interviews Design Teams; Building Plan Called Legacy Project
Samar Fay / The Courier
Glasgow School Board members participate in a visioning exercise, choosing design photos they liked and didn’t like. From left are trustees Patt Etchart and Alison Molvig, Superintendent Bob Connors and trustee Nick Dirkes.
Sleek drawings and artful computer presentations dazzled the Glasgow School Board on Tuesday as they interviewed three design teams for the $16.8 million school construction project.
Each multidisciplinary team had an hour and a half to impress the board with their creativity and competence.
The Glasgow project is big, complicated and tightly scheduled. The design teams recognized the opportunity it represents to create a lasting legacy here – one called it a “once-in-a-generation chance.”
The plan calls for building a New Irle School right next to the old one while school is in session. Five classrooms, more bathrooms and a new entrance are planned for East Side. The district central kitchen will be moved from Irle to the high school and the high school locker rooms will be modified. GHS is the only school in District 2B that only has two locker rooms, which makes the traffic pattern a huge headache, now that girls’ and boys’ basketball games are held together.
Each team had a draft timeline to finish East Side and the high school by the fall of 2014, and have a New Irle School ready to use by fall 2015.
After about an hour of discussion, the board ranked the three teams. The Great Falls firm of L’Heureux Page Werner (LPW) emerged on top. Contract negotiations begin with them on Wednesday, conducted by the board’s Negotiating Committee, with the assistance of the school board’s owner’s representative, Hulteng CCM, Inc. of Billings.
Part of LPW’s plan is to hold construction trade workshops to educate local businesses about the scope and schedule of the projects and inform them of future bidding opportunities. Smaller businesses can learn about proper bidding procedures and network with large businesses. This can maximize local participation in the project, keeping the bond money in the community.
If negotiations with LPW are not successful, the school board will turn to the second-ranked team, A&E Architects of Billings, which does extensive work with the Billings school district. If need be, they can hold talks with the third firm, CTA Architects and Engineers of Billings.
All three firms are well-known in the business with lists of accomplishments. They were the short list picked from 12 firms that answered the Request For Qualifications.
Construction teams will soon be asked for responses to an RFQ.
The board and all the design teams are committed to involving the construction contractors quickly, to make the building process as fast and efficient as possible.
Carl Baxmeyer, the communication specialist for LPW, said public meetings will be held for the community and all the stakeholders to listen, develop a vision, collect data and create the school that Glasgow wants.