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Three architects chosen as semi-finalists in Chesapeake athletic complex project

CHESAPEAKE — The choice for the architect to build the proposed new athletic complex for Chesapeake schools has been narrowed down to three.

At a special meeting Monday night, the Chesapeake Board of Education reviewed the portfolios of 12 architects who put in bids to build what is expected to be a multi-million dollar project.

“We will bring them in to interview and search more about them and look at their previous projects,” board member Jerry Osborne said.

The three semi-finalists are Fanning-Howey out of Dublin, MSA Sport Professional Design Services of Cincinnati, and TSHD Architects of Portsmouth. Mark Tanner of TSHD drew up the preliminary plans that were presented at the initial public meeting that determined how the complex would be funded.

About a month ago, the board voted unanimously to move 2 mills from the district’s 4.5 inside millage used for operating expenses to permanent improvements. That will partially fund the project to renovate the football field and track at the high school.

The three were chosen, according to Osborne, because “of the availability to work on the project. Maybe somebody was geographically located close. How much they had done with athletic facilities. Their experience with that and plus what they had to offer, how well they would work with the board and the community.”

The next step is for the three architects to make presentations to the board and answer questions. Those meeting will be Oct. 25 and Nov. 1, at 6 p.m.

The architects will make about a 90-minute presentation and then take questions from the board, Superintendent Scott Howard said.

“I think (the process) is going great,” he said. “They are all incredibly well-qualified and have a long list of accomplishments in terms of building an athletic complex. We had a really detailed packet on everyone. I think we did a good job of narrowing it down to three, but it was very difficult. The others were qualified as well.”

Joining the school board in selecting an architect will be members from the community, school staff, including the athletic director and principals, and the superintendent.

“It is a cross mix from the community and staff,” Osborne said. “We want to be sure we have a quality facility and have some good community input. … We are only going to do it once, so we want to do it right. We are not looking at any set finish date.”