Lawrence school board selects architecture firms

The Lawrence school board agreed Monday night to negotiate contracts with four architectural firms, or groups of firms, to design building renovations and expansions that are being funded with the recently passed $92.5 million bond issue.

That move marks another step toward the beginning of massive construction project that district officials say will outfit each of the buildings for 21st century learning practices.

To manage the projects throughout the district, the school board earlier divided all of the projects into four packages. Pending negotiation of final contracts, the firms selected for each of those packages will be:

• Package 1: Gould Evans, the same Lawrence design firm that did much of the consulting work leading up to the bond issue. That package includes Hillcrest, Langston Hughes, Sunset Hill, Cordley and Pinckney schools. Total project costs for those five buildings are estimated at $35.8 million.

• Package 2: Sabatini Architects Inc. of Lawrence, with Hollis and Miller Architects of Overland Park. That package includes Kennedy, Deerfield and Schwegler schools, as well as Free State and Lawrence high schools. Total project costs for the package are estimated at $22.7 million.

• Package 3: BG Architecture, a division of BG Consultants, Inc., which has offices in Lawrence. Those firms will design the projects at Quail Run, Sunflower, Broken Arrow and Prairie Park schools, as well as Liberty Memorial Central, South, Southwest and West middle schools. Work at the middle schools mainly involves electrical upgrades. Total project costs for the package are estimated at $11.7 million.

• Package 4: Gould Evans. That package includes New York and Woodlawn schools. Total project costs are estimated at $8.2 million.

District officials did not provide estimates of the cost of each of those contracts. In earlier estimates, however, officials estimated that “program, design and administration” expenses would be about 8 percent of the total project costs.

A fifth package involving design for new career and technical education facilities at the district’s Holcom Center will be decided later.

Dean Youngers, construction manager on the projects, said he expected the final contracts to be ready for board approval at the next board meeting June 24. The next steps, he said, will be to begin the design work; select mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineers; and begin the search for “construction managers at risk” for each of the packages.

The construction managers at risk will be responsible for hiring subcontractors and will have overall responsibility for completing each of the projects according to specifications.