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HCHS facility panel taps three to present designs / May 06, 2019
(Editor’s note: The School Board central office issued this statement on the meeting of the Facility Committee meeting on April 26, part of our front page coverage.)

The Halifax County School Facility Committee reviewed Request For Proposals (RFPs) submitted by architectural/engineering services for Halifax County High School at its latest meeting held Friday, April 26. Seven firms submitted proposals on various school building concepts as well as their credentials for being able to guide school officials in the best direction for Halifax County High School.

Committee members, who represent a cross-section of the community including school personnel, industry representatives, private citizens, and two school board members used a rating system to evaluate each proposal. Three firms have been selected to be interviewed by the facility committee in late May for the purpose to provide a conceptual study with the option of full architectural and engineering services for the design for a new Halifax County High School as well as construction administration services.

The School Facility Committee reviewed the following items:

The identification of the elements and noteworthiness of each proposal.

Followed the recommendation of the school board in relation to the 6-1 vote held on Jan. 14, in support of pursuing funding for a new high school and the Halifax County Board of Supervisors’ Adoption of the Community Strategic Plan on April 15, which ranked modernizing Halifax County High School as the top priority in the community strategic plan.

Emphasized the desire to re-program the high school to include modern facilities related to 21st century learning.

Emphasized the need for selected firms to include long-range maintenance costs and expectations in the proposal.

Emphasized the importance of community involvement in the conceptual design of Halifax County High School.

The committee discussed the importance of making certain that the recommended architectural firms and proposals included all desired elements brought up since the need for a modern high school surfaced two years ago. The proposals will include estimated numbers for necessary maintenance to assure the long-term viability of the new high school, as well as the ability for expansion should enrollment increase based on projected economic benefits to the county with the construction of a new high school. The school will be designed to meet the needs of 21st century learning and include modern instructional facilities including substantial CTE and vocational programs as well as an increase in integrated curricula.

Final recommendations to the Halifax County School Board will be completed before the June school board meeting, allowing time for the Halifax County School Board to make a final decision and pursue all avenues in order to meet necessary requirements for a joint resolution to support the local sales tax increase of one percent recently passed by the Virginia Assembly.

Facility Study Committee
Ryland Clark, ABB Engineer
Jana Daniel, Teacher, Sydnor Jennings Elem. School
David Duffer, Principal, Clays Mill Elem. School
Jason Ferrell, Director of North Campus Facilities, Averett University
Joe Gasperini, School Board Member
Mark Gosney, Comfort Systems USA
Orey Hill, School Board Member
James Jennings, Director of Operations & Maintenance, HCPS
Leon Johnson
Beth Layne, Teacher, HCHS
Mike Lewis, Principal, HCHS
Mark Lineburg, Superintendent
Lisa Long, Director of Elementary Instr./Professional Development, HCPS
Scott Worner, Interim Supervisor of Secondary Instruction, HCPS

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All but four individuals on this Facilities Committee are employees of HCPS. Do you REALLY think any of them will recommend NOT building a new $100+ High School?! They have not invited nor included a single Board of Supervisors member to be on this panel?! No wonder there is such a divide with the School Board and the BOS, not to mention the community as a whole. Building a new high school will not attract new business, it will not magically improve the quality of education, nor will it attract new educators. But it's surely gonna be a pretty building to look at that will undoubtedly be better than the improperly maintained and disgracefulness that is the HCHS, costing taxpayers big money in the end for decades to come.

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