Greene Co school board selects architect for proposed HS/regional academy

The Greene County Schools board of education is fast-tracking a proposed high school and regional academy with the hopes of having a bond referendum in April.

The board at its Nov. 20 meeting selected OPN Architects of Cedar Rapids and Des Moines to assist with gathering input from the community about the proposed new campus, creating conceptual drawings and a cost estimate based on that input, and then providing expertise and materials for promoting the required bond issue.

OPN’s fee for those services is $71,000. Also included in the proposal was a fee for architectural work for the two buildings should voters approve the bond issue.
Since Chris Deal and Sid Jones presented the idea of a new high school with an adjacent regional academy focused on technical training needed by area employers (welding, hospitality services, etc) in October, the school board’s facilities committee reviewed proposals from 13 architectural firms and invited five of them to do presentations.

The board at a special meeting last week heard presentations from BLDD Architects of Davenport, DLR Group of Des Moines, Haila Architecture|Structure|Planning of Ames, Neumann Monson Architects of Des Moines and OPN.

All six board members at the Monday meeting (Mike Dennhardt was absent) named OPN as their first choice. The firm did not offer the lowest price, but the $71,000 quoted was more inclusive of all expenses with fewer “reimbursables” and no limit to the number of community meetings an OPN representative would attend. That consideration brought OPN’s cost near the others’, and OPN proposed a lower cost for architectural work after the bond referendum.

Board member Sam Harding as built projects designed by Haila, DLR and OPN. According to Harding, OPN principle Roger Worm is “awesome.” Board president Mark Peters said OPN’s presentation “brought everything to the table,” and that the marketing director who will assist with promoting the bond issue is “phenomenal.”

OPN projects includes Mount Vernon Community High School, Indianola Middle Scool, the Iowa Hall of Pride, the Ankeny public library, the restorations at Hancher Auditorium and the Old Capitol at the University of Iowa, and Martin Hall at Iowa State University.

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