At a work session today, the board weighed presentations from McKee and Associates from Montgomery, CMH Architects in Birmingham and Bill Whittaker Architect in Anniston for the project. The proposals were similar in scope and cost, with each proposal adding 12 classrooms, a science lab, a computer lab, a choir room and a teacher’s lounge to the high school. Estimated building costs for all three were around $3.5 million.
The project is budgeted at $4 million.
All three companies have previously worked with the board in some capacity. CMH built Pleasant Valley Elementary School in 2002, while McKee and Whittaker have worked on several school renovation projects.
Board member Mike Almaroad said he preferred going with Whittaker based on the proposed architect’s fee of 6 percent of the total cost, compared to CMH’s 6.2 and CMH at 6.5.
“I’m all about cost saving,” Almaroad said. “All three of these are great architects and I have no problem going with any one of them, but I think in terms of cost saving, that’s the way to go.”
Board member Dale Harbin also recommended Whittaker in order to keep the project local.
“That’s keeping money in Calhoun County,” Harbin said. “I’d like to see giving them a big project.”
Superintendent Joe Dyar said he’ll make his recommendation to the board at the next scheduled meeting on Sept. 26. Dyar said ground could be broken on the project as soon as January, with an aim to open the addition in time for the 2015-16 school year.
Staff writer Brian Anderson: 256-235-3546. On Twitter @BAnderson_Star.