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    (THOMAS WALLNER | THE GRAHAM LEADER) The Graham ISD Board of Trustees hear a presentation from Harper Perkins Architects during a special called board meeting Wednesday, Sept. 7. The board chose HPA as the architectural and engineering firm for a proposed construction project Wednesday, Sept. 14.

Graham ISD chooses architect for potential bond measure

The Graham ISD Board of Trustees last Wednesday selected Harper Perkins Architects as the architectural and engineering firm for a proposed construction project and approved Superintendent Sonny Cruse to execute a contract for services. The project would involve a grade realignment and changes to multiple campuses within the district.

HPA, based in Wichita Falls, specializes in new constructions, additions and renovations for school campuses. The company has worked in districts such as Bellevue ISD, Bowie ISD, City View ISD, Electra ISD, Gordon ISD, Holliday ISD, Jacksboro ISD, Montague ISD and more over the 60 years the company has been in operation. The company is also in charge of the tornado remediation in Jacksboro ISD at an estimated contract amount of $7 million, with an estimated completion date of 2024.

The board heard presentations from CADCO Architects & Engineers and HPA during a special called meeting Wednesday, Sept. 7. The board took no action during that time on choosing an architect for the proposed project and tabled action until their next meeting, Wednesday, Sept. 14, to review the quotes presented by each company. Cruse said during the meeting last Wednesday that both companies were suited for the project which the district is looking to have as a bond measure on the May 2023 election.

“I will tell you from talking to lots of superintendents, (...) people that have done business with either firm, like their architect. There’s very rare exceptions to that, they’re very pleased. So I think either firm would do a good job for the district, especially in the light of the project that we’re looking at. I think either one would do a good job for the district,” he said. “(...) I think I got one, slightly negative on one of them, but it was from a new superintendent and all his information was coming from board members that he’s now working with (...). But other than that, most people say I wouldn’t do business with anyone else and, you know, we like our people. So I don’t think you can go wrong either way, I think that just something the board’s gonna have to have a comfort level with.”

Board President Andrea Lowery, who spoke during the Sept. 7 meeting regarding the bond committees and community input on the project, did additional research into both companies.

“I think we’d be happy with either firm, given what our project is. We’re not designing a new building. It doesn’t need to be terribly fancy. It needs to match the architecture and the look of our existing buildings. I think we just need to pick who we think would draw the best plans, has the best relationships with contractors, so that that whole process is smooth from the beginning and we get a design and a quote that includes everything so that we’re not overrun with change orders,” she said. “(...) Another concern I had was just which firm would help us the most in the bond process, because I like the idea of the community involvement, but two-way communication with the community, not just educating them on what we’re trying to achieve with the project, but asking also what community leaders want us to do. So I think the whole process of finding out what is most important, setting our priorities, getting those on posters, and in informational meetings, it’s really important that whoever we pick helps us with that process.”

For the full story, see the Wednesday, Sept. 21 edition of The Graham Leader.

The Graham Leader

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