Sparks fly over architects at Dougherty School Board meeting

A Dougherty School Board committee has narrowed a list of architects to 11

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James Bush

ALBANY — Despite a light agenda Wednesday, the Dougherty County School Board’s mid-month meeting still managed to set off a few fireworks.

The exchange began over how a seven-person ad hoc committee recently selected the 11 names of architects who will be considered for interviews before the committee Tuesday and Wednesday. Each of the original pool of 18 architects who responded to a RFP (request for proposal) was graded on a 70-point scale and the results tabulated.


Darrel Ealum

Committee member Darrel Ealum suggested toss out the five lowest-scoring firms to concentrate on the remaining three with the goal of whittling the list to 10 firms.

When the results were posted, David Maschke and Associates was among the five lowest-scoring firms, but Ealum insisted Maschke be added to the interview list.


David Maschke

Board Members James Bush and Milton “June Bug” Griffin questioned why the committee had agreed with Ealum’s suggestion, but the list was expanded to 11 instead of 10.

Ealum answered that one of the questions on the RFP dealt with recent architectural work, and he pointed out that, as a 12-year board member, Maschke was prohibited from obtaining any school work during his tenure. Ealum said that brought Maschke’s score down, adding “Maschke is highly qualified. Heck, we’re sitting in a building he designed and built.”

At stake are seven school projects worth more than $30 million. The inteview process will end with the committee presenting a list of applicants to the board, who will select a pool of architects to handle the projects.

Mascke will be among the 11 applicants interviewed next week.

DCSS Facilities Director Bob Flower gave the board an updat in the Dougherty High renovation.

“The contractor has been in the building since Sept. 16 and has completed much of the demolition work,” Fowler said. “Asbestos abatement is also currently underway.”

Fowler projected an Aug. 15, 2015 move-in date, adding, “We feel like to project is really moving forward.”