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Hagerstown architectural firm to design 'West City' school

Bushey Feight Morin Architects submitted the low bid of $932,287

March 20, 2013|By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com

The Hagerstown firm of Bushey Feight Morin Architects has been chosen to design the new “West City” elementary school, which is expected to open in August 2016.

The Washington County Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday night to award the design contract to the firm, which submitted the low bid of $932,287 for the architectural and engineering services for phase one of the new school.

Purchasing Supervisor Lisa Freeman told the school board that Bushey Feight Morin Architects designed the new Maugansville Elementary School, which opened in 2008.

The firm also worked with Washington County officials on the design for the new Washington County Free Library in downtown Hagerstown, and the design for the new Maryland State Police Hagerstown barrack off Sharpsburg Pike, Freeman said.

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The total cost of the new school is estimated to be $19.3 million. That includes the architect, furnishings, equipment, and construction.

Winter Street and Conococheague elementary schools are expected to close at the end of the 2015-2016 school year. An advisory committee has been charged with making recommendations for redistricting for the new West City school. The redistricting could affect several school attendance districts.

The architectural firm will help a committee of school system employees and parents finalize educational specifications for the new school, which is to be built within the Hager’s Crossing housing development behind Walmart, said Rob Rollins, director of facilities planning and development. Educational specifications are the features the school system wants in a school, including the number of classrooms and the size of the gymnasium.

Phase one of West City already calls for three classrooms per grade, for kindergarten through fifth grade, and two prekindergarten classrooms.

Phase one will be a 63,818-square-foot building designed to accommodate 471 students, according to a presentation document for the school board’s March 19 meeting.

Core facilities will be built to accommodate up to five classrooms per grade, or 745 students, should the school be expanded, according to the presentation document. Core facilities include hallways and common areas such as a the library and cafeteria.

The school system’s elementary schools with the highest state-rated capacities, for 745 students each, are Pangborn and Rockland Woods elementary schools, according to a facilities fact sheet.

Bushey Feight Morin’s work will include designing the possible expansion, a 20,682-square-foot addition, according to the presentation document.

Construction bids are expected to be issued in the late spring or early summer of 2014, Rollins said.
Bushey Feight Morin Architects was the low bidder among the three finalists, according to the presentation document.

Freeman said the three finalists received the highest technical ratings among 13 submitted proposals. The finalists made presentations to a selection committee on Feb. 27.

The other two finalists were Hord Coplan Macht, of Baltimore, which bid $981,600; and GWWO, of Baltimore, which bid $1,074,994, according to the presentation document.

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