Board hears proposals for long-range plans
k a step towards selecting a firm for a new facilities assessment, as well as long-range planning proposals.
Superintendent Ron Lorez said the district reached out to 12 architectural firms in the area, with requests for a proposal, and received nine. From there, the board facilities committee narrowed the nine finalists to three, and those three firms each met with the Red Oak School Board in half-hour increments, with time for questions. The three finalists were Incite Design Studio, LLC of Kansas City, Mo., and Denovo Construction, CMBA Architects of Des Moines, and Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture of Omaha.
The proposals from each firm were largely introductory, and no action was taken by the board at the June 13 meeting. Patrick Smith and Aaron Hardy with Incite Design were the first to present, and Patrick Davis with Denovo was also in attendance. One of the things Smith said may set them apart from other firms was having construction management involved.
“We’ve done a lot of these long range plans, and as we continued to evolve, we felt it was important to bring more experts to the table,” Smith said.
Hardy commented on the firm’s history in the past five years, and said they have put together more than 20 long-range plans for school districts for projects that have reached a total bond amount of $.135 billion, and have assisted more than 80,000 kids in the area districts.
“That seems like a large number, and we do work with large districts, but my average district is 2,500 students with a bond project of around $10 million,” commented Hardy.
The approach for the project included engagement with the board, staff, and students on their goals; conducting surveys, collecting data, analyzing the data, and the delivery of a report to the board.
“Each one of these steps can be lengthened or shortened depending on needs. When it comes to design, we ask the question of the user groups, and let them navigate and come up with things on their own, then help the board identify the plan that’s best for the community,” advised Hardy.
The board then met with Courtney Koch and Andrew Miller with CMBA Architects. Koch said the firm had a lot of experience in education.
“We have a very large portfolio of educational experience and long-term relationships with the clients that we work with. We value getting to be a partner thoughout the long term of a project and be a consistent resource that can be called on at any time,” Koch said.
Koch said they strive to make sure everything they did fit in with the community, what the district wanted to do, what the faculty wanted to see, and what would help the student.
“When it comes to the buildings, we’re bringing all the resources together so that we’re using every part of a project, not just designing a classroom space that is a set location with a set group of students in the space, and allow the students to use the spaces the way they see fit, but also allow visibility for faculty to be able to control what they’re working on,” explained Koch.
Additionally, Koch said they could provide a customizable website, and other necessites for the district to use to bring any project into fruition.
Last to present was Daric O’Neal with Alley Poyner Maccietto. O’Neal said that Alley Poyner had an understanding of the school and the community that went beyond any other group the district would see.
“All of you sitting here on the school board are graduates of the Red Oak School District, as am I. In the same sense that helps you on the school board, it also helps me as an architect for your school projects. Alley Poyner has a history and commitment that the board will continue to receive with us continuing as your architect,” commented O’Neal.
O’Neal added that while other firms may have similar qualifications and processes, none had the experience with the district as Alley Poyner.
“That’s everything from your architectural team, to your engineers, civil engineers, and construction managers. We can conduct a more thorough facilities assessment having a full knowledge of the systems that were designed and installed previously. We previously created a community engagement process and master plan that was based on trust, transparency, and constant communication. We will continue to do that through this next phase,” advised O’Neal.
The board will discuss and decide on a firm at its next regular meeting June 27.