BASH Renovation Architect Fired

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A change in architects could delay the start of construction on an expanded high school as far as next summer, Principal Dr. Brett Cooper said.

The district is still early in the planning process, and nothing is known for sure.

“We were hoping to start construction in November,” Dr. Cooper said.  “We have no start date yet, but it looks like we may start closer to the summer months.”

Construction was originally supposed to start this school year, but less than two months ago, E.I. Associates, the architectural firm hired in September 2012 to handle the project, was fired by the school board due to underestimating by $15 million the expected costs for the construction.

A new firm, KCBA Architects, was hired this past month. Meanwhile, E.I. Associates has filed a lawsuit against the district, claiming an estimated $50,000 in damages for ending the contract early.

Dr. Cooper commented on the overall goals of the renovation.  He said districts across the country are working to increase the level of security in their schools, and Boyertown is no different.  The administration is looking for a more secure entrance, similar to that of Junior High East, where all visitors must walk through the main office before entering the rest of the building.

Another goal of the renovation is to provide room for collaboration “student to student, teacher to teacher, and teacher to student.”  The new addition also would allow freshman classrooms to all be in the same area of the school building.  “One of our goals is to create an academy setting,” Dr. Cooper said.

In regards to the lawsuit, Boyertown students don’t have much to worry about, for it is not expected to directly impact the renovation.  The reason the lawsuit was filed was because of an estimated $50,000 in damages for ending the contract early.  The contract was ended because of the $15 million underestimation of the expenses for the renovation.  While the renovations may be delayed, the district is working to get it back on schedule in order to give students in Boyertown a better education.

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