W-JCC School Board selects architect for Lafayette gym

WILLIAMSBURG- The Williamsburg-James City County School Board awarded a contract for the architectural design of the new Lafayette High School auxiliary gym at Tuesday night’s work session.

The $222,151 contract will go to HBA Architects, based in Virginia Beach. The funds will come from leftover balances in three completed capital projects. The same firm designed the auxiliary gym at Jamestown High School in 2012.

“I’m very excited,” said Julie Hummel (Williamsburg), who made the motion for Board. “Thank you very much. I know it was a lot of work, Dr. Constantino.”

“We are very pleased that we can bring this to the board,” said Superintendent Steve Constantino. “We understood the need. I would like to publicly thank (James City County Administrator) Mr. Hill. We were able to hammer it out, quite frankly.”

The vote was unanimous, but Sandy Young (Berkeley) questioned the $200,000 price tag for architectural designs. Board Chair Jim Kelly (Jamestown) said it is typical for designs to cost about 10 percent of the overall project, and HBA estimates the overall cost of the gym will be $2.4 million.

Before the meeting, Mike Ross, the Principal Architect at HBA, said his firm provided the schools with a feasibility study on the gym at Lafayette in 2013 and updated the cost estimate by adding three years of inflation. Constantino said it was HBA’s previous work on the Lafayette gym made them the most logical choice.

The county and school division have a standing agreement with HBA to “provide services as needed without having to go through a formal procurement process each time,” WJCC Chief Financial Officer Christina Berta said before the meeting.

Ross said this arrangement functions as a pre-qualification and enables the school system to move more quickly on projects.

McKinnon can be reached at 757-345-2341.

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