BLOUNTVILLE — Sullivan County’s school board has voted 6-1 to choose Knoxville-based Red Chair Architects to oversee a master facilities planning process, which Kingsport City Schools could join.
At a called Jan. 15 county Board of Education meeting, the board voted to seek a contract with Red Chair Architects, one of four firms that responded to a request for proposals from the county.
Red Chair and two others overlapped with firms that responded to Kingsport’s request for proposals.
BOE member Todd Broughton cast the no vote. He said he wanted more time to review the RFQs and four interviews. The board finished up the fourth interview about 8 p.m. Jan. 14 and voted at a 5 p.m. meeting Jan. 15.
“I just didn’t have time to digest it before we voted on it Wednesday,” Broughton said.
The three firms that overlapped with Kingsport and the county were Olympia, Wash.-based MGT of America partnering with Studio Four Design of Knoxville; Red Chair; and Cope Architects of Knoxville. MGT was listed as the lead on the county RFQ, while Studio Four was listed as the lead on the city RFQ.
The county school board also interviewed DeJong Richter and partner HBA Architecture Interior Design of Virginia Beach, Va.
A city school system group, which did not include any school board members, interviewed Studio Four and MGT; Knoxville-based Red Chair; Cope Associates architects of Knoxville; Kingsport-based Beeson, Lusk, Street Architects and Kaatz, Binkley, Jones, Morris Architects Inc. of Mount Juliet, Tenn.
Red Chair’s study will begin once the contract for services is negotiated and the scope of work has been finalized, which will depend in part on whether Kingsport participates and at what level.
The city’s RFQ is basically for a facilities condition report on selected school buildings, the kind of information that would be part of the broader county study.
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