Archive for Thursday, March 15, 2007

Board names architect

March 15, 2007

The Eudora USD 491 Board of Education tapped the DLR Group Thursday as the architect for a November bond referendum.

The same group oversaw the district's last bond issue in 2001.

The firm will receive 6 percent of the $40 to $50 million bond issue for its services.

"The board went through an extensive interview process for the last bond issue," Eudora USD 491 Superintendent Marty Kobza said. "The board chose to continue to work with DLR based on that process."

The group beat out 11 other applicants during the last bond process, Kobza said.

After getting the nod, DLR led the district from pre-bond planning to a successful vote. The group also oversaw the design and construction of Eudora High School. The construction marked the first phase of improvements to the district.

"The board felt like it was important to continue with DLR from the standpoint that we're moving into phase two," Kobza said.

The current vision of the 2008 bond package includes eight parts. The first project would be the construction of a 1,000-student first- through fifth-grade elementary school. Other projects include a preschool and kindergarten center at Eudora West Elementary and a new auditorium at the high school.

"They can design a very nice and aesthetically pleasing space that's very functional and inexpensive," Kobza said.

The board was also impressed by the group's overall responsiveness during the last bond issue, Kobza said.

"I think anytime there is a construction project, it's never going to be perfect," Kobza said.

The board wanted an architectural firm that responds when things go wrong, Kobza said.

For the current referendum, the group's responsibilities include pre-bond cost estimates and budget work. The group will help lead a citizen committee in publicizing the bond.

The group will also draft preliminary building renderings.

If voters pass the bond, the architects would also be responsible for the design of the new facilities and monitor construction.

The group's first responsibility will be to provide the district with a detailed cost estimate.

To do so, representatives from DLR will work with district staff to find out exactly what the district needs. Kobza offered the example of determining the square-footage of one of the new buildings or the shape of a classroom.

"It's really getting down to what the program looks like so they can see what cost looks like from that," Kobza said.

After determining cost, a representative from DLR Group would present the findings to the board. If the firm found the district couldn't afford the needed improvements within budget, board members would adjust the bond as necessary, Kobza said.

After the architect finalizes a cost estimate, representatives from the group will then begin work with a bond campaign committee.

"Once they find out the package, they can start to talk about how to inform the voters about it," Kobza said. "A lot of it now is also just providing information."

The board voted unanimously to accept the contract with DLR Group.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.