City board eyes criteria for architect
by By DELANEY WALKER Banner Staff Writer
Apr 05, 2013 | 1132 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Site Committee members Thursday gave the Cleveland Board of Education one week to study the qualifications of architects interested in working on the new city elementary school on Georgetown Road.

Architects had until Wednesday at noon to respond to the city’s Request for Qualifications. A total of 10 sent in their information.

Martin Ringstaff, director of city schools, proposed board members spend time studying the responses.

“You will see things I will not,” Ringstaff said. “So study this and look for what is important to you.”

He suggested board members take notes as they read through the architect’s proposal.

Murl Dirksen, site committee chair, agreed taking notes would be beneficial.

Added Dawn Robinson, board member, “Maybe that is what we should do. We should take notes and then each of us can rank how we like them. Then we can come back together and determine whether they are all outstanding, and then we can hear from them all, or if there are a few we can take away.”

The unofficial ranking scale is based on a best-to-worst approach versus a numbered scale.

Brenda Carson, Cleveland Schools business manager, suggested board members make sure each response meets the minimum requirements set forth in the RFQ.

Each board member will check for seven basics:

- A signed cover letter showing the architect understands the Board of Education’s requirements, in addition to a description of services provided;

- Statement of Qualifications (firm and project staff);

- Designation of project manager;

- Description of intended compensation (fixed fee, percentage, etc.);

- References (minimum of 5);

- Complete insurance forms; and

- Notes and deviations and any other information pertinent to this request.

Chosen architects will be invited to give a brief presentation to the board. As of yet the allotted time has not been decided. Board members discussed given them from 15 to 45 minutes.

Tom Cloud, board chair, said presentations could be split between two days.

Board members also discussed potential capacity for the new elementary school.

The suggested population cap for the school is within 550 to 700. Richard Shaw, board member, said it was a question of paying now or paying later.

Peggy Pesterfield, board member, said she wanted the school built large enough so specialty rooms were not taken away.

Board members cited Mayfield Elementary during the discussion. Within five years the elementary school went from comfortable to at capacity, with specialty rooms being used for class instruction.

Shaw maintained the school needed to be large enough to handle the projected growth.

Robinson said she hated seeing elementary schools with populations over 550.

Pesterfield suggested if the school system could not build fast enough, then it might need to build large enough.

Ringstaff said he would request a tour for the school board at elementary schools with student populations of around 700.

A meeting will be held next week to go over the architect preferences of the board members.