School board selects architect for Lawsonville addition
by Meghann Evans
Lawsonville Elementary School is one step closer to getting a much needed expansion. On Monday night, the Stokes County Board of Education selected an architectural firm for the project.
The board voted unanimously to select Peterson Gordon Architects as the firm for the Lawsonville Elementary addition. Peterson Gordon teams with Allied Design and Jerry Moorefield Engineering.
Before the vote of approval on Nov. 19, Board Vice Chair Mike Rogers asked who the engineer would be. David Burge, director of operations for Stokes County Schools, explained Peterson Gordon’s partnership with the other firms.
“They seem like the dream team,” said Rogers. “I’m good.”
Burge said the big plus with this firm is that they are within 30 minutes of the county. “This is as close as we could get to Stokes County,” he said, also noting that Jerry Moorefield is local.
The vote was unanimous in favor of the firm. Board member Sonya Cox was not present to vote.
Perry Peterson spoke at the Nov. 5 school board work session about his company, explaining that it is a small Winston-Salem firm specializing in public schools and churches. He presented a PowerPoint presentation about past projects completed by Peterson Gordon.
Burge explained in an interview Tuesday that the school system has to pick an architect for projects based on capabilities, not price, according to state statute. He said the firm has completed some roofing projects for Stokes County Schools in the past and has done some work for the county.
“They’ve done substantial school work for Forsyth County,” he noted.
The next step will be to negotiate a fee and set a start time for the creation of plans for the project so it can be bid out.
“The first step is to select the architect,” said Burge.
The county has already committed its support for the project. A couple of years ago, the Stokes County Board of Commissioners voted to incur $26.5 million in debt to handle several new construction and renovation projects for county schools, which includes construction of a new wing at Lawsonville Elementary. Funding will come from the four-cent tax that was instituted last year for school construction projects.
Burge said the exact size of the expansion is not set in stone yet. There are five mobile units currently at the school to accommodate the number of students. Burge said there will probably be six classrooms added on and some other things such as bathrooms and closets.
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