Architect chosen for new schools

Published 12:07 am Thursday, August 2, 2012

Shown is the proposed rendering at AHS by Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood.




The Andalusia Board of Education voted Wednesday to select Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood as the architect for its new middle school buildings at the elementary and high schools.

After more than a year of discussions, debates, planning and multiple architectural renderings, the board decided the architectural company was the best fit for its projects.

The board announced in July 2011 that it would close Andalusia Middle School and place sixth grade students at Andalusia Elementary School and seventh and eighth graders at the high school – a move that would require additional space at both schools.

“I appreciate the input and the time you’ve put into making this decision,” Superintendent Ted Watson said. “It has been a very difficult decision, at least for me to make this recommendation.

“I feel that Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood will offer us the best product for this particular project,” he said. “I hope that you will allow me to talk to them.”

Board Member Amy Dugger made the motion and David Bryant seconded it. It passed unanimously.

“We’ve worked with all four,” said board president Dr. Bill King. “I think they are the best suited for our project.”

Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood architects estimated the two projects would cost $5.39 million. They first proposed a two-story structure reminiscent of AHS be built on the campus for AMS, an idea that so resonated with board members that they had other firms submit new proposals with two-story facilities.

Still, Watson said, “now it’s just a matter of making it fit with what we need.”

“What the architects have given is their interpretation based on the square footage we gave them,” he said. “Now we’ll hone it into what we want and can afford.”

Watson said he hopes to solicit bids for the project by the first of the year.

“We hope to be done with it between February and April 2014 and move in by the fall of the year,” he said.

The project is being paid for by a $5.5 million bond issue, in which the City of Andalusia of Andalusia has pledged 2.5 mills per year of property taxes for the duration.