RICHMOND — What was originally planned as a Madison County School Board work session turned into a special-called meeting Thursday when a few actions items were added to the agenda.
The board voted to hire the architectural firm of Sherman, Carter, Barnhart to design and oversee renovation of the building at 301 Highland Lakes, which the board purchased this month to be the district’s new central office.
Although the Lexington firm of Clotfelter-Samokar has been managing construction projects for the district since 2000, Superintendent Elmer Thomas said at January’s board meeting that other architects would be considered for future projects. During that meeting, board member Mary Renfro opposed hiring Clotfelter-Samokar for the renovation of three elementary schools this summer.
Sherman, Carter, Barnhart was hired Thursday for the “fairly small job” of renovating the new central office “to give us the opportunity to try out somebody else,” said board chair Mona Isaacs.
The superintendent agreed the project will be “a good trial for another architect.”
District offices now scattered in several places will be moved to the 22,000-square-foot Highland Lakes property, so the project will involve building walls and doors to create offices, installing carpet and painting. The architects also are expected to plan and develop a board meeting room, the superintendent said.
Thomas envisions the space to have expandable doors, so it can turn into a small- or large-room training center.
Otherwise, the building’s restrooms, HVAC system, entry ways and elevator are all in good shape, he said.
The board issued a request for professional services and received portfolios from six firms, Thomas said. After speaking with former and current superintendents who have worked with the various firms and considering the location and accessibility of the architects, the board decided on Sherman, Carter, Barnhart, which has an office in Lexington.