BLOUNTVILLE — Sullivan County’s school board will interview all four consultant companies that responded to a request for qualifications for a comprehensive demographics, facilities and program study for the system.
School board members and the school system’s head made the decision by consensus at a work session Wednesday.
The companies in the running are Cope Associates of Knoxville, Dejong-Richter of Ohio, MGT of America of Washington state, and Red Chair Architects of Knoxville.
The Sullivan County Board of Education members, after discussion, agreed that two consultants would be interviewed from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 9, and the other two at the same times on Tuesday, Jan. 14.
At 8 p.m. on Jan. 14, the board will hold a work session to open public discussions among board members on the four candidates, to be followed by a called BOE meeting and vote on the chosen consultant at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 15.
That will meet the request for quotation (RFQ) timeline of notifying the chosen firm by Jan. 16, although that will mark the beginning of cost negotiations that if not successful could result in the board pursuing a contract with another consultant.
BOE member Randall Jones initially said at the work session he would support interviewing only three consultants — rather than all four, as put forth by Todd Broughton — although after discussion Jones agreed with comments by Director of Schools Jubal Yennie and fellow board member Jerry Greene that the board would learn valuable information from all four. BOE Chairman Dan Wells said he was open to interviewing either three or four.
For an expanded version of this article, please see Thursday's print edition or our electronic edition.