Danville names new architect for Hogsett project

Studio Kremer Architects in Louisville will be taking charge of the project to renovate Mary G. Hogsett Elementary School into the Mary G. Hogsett Primary School.

“All of them were good choices, but we as a group all liked Studio Kremer,” said Board member Lori Finke who served on the committee to select an architect. She talked to the other board members on Monday, during the working session, about the decision.

Board member Steve Becker agreed, having also served on the committee.

“We really are lucky that we have architects that want to have our business … I was very impressed with Studio Kremer,” he said. “It’s not that RossTarrant couldn’t do it. What I liked about it is, we’re small enough, if we want a little bit different look, then we probably ought to look at a different architect. Hogsett’s going to be a project all on it’s own.”

Finke said Studio Kremer offered up some ideas about connecting the early learning with nature and bringing the outside in, she said.

“It wasn’t all about where the bathrooms are going to be located. That was important, but it was all about taking this early learning and do some things you couldn’t do on a traditional campus,” she said. “I think they will be flexible.”

“I’m excited to start another project,” said Board Chair Paige Matthews, thanking Finke and Becker for serving on the committee.

After the meeting, Superintendent Keith Look said the committee consisted of three central office employees and two board members.

He said Studio Kremer was chosen because their skills and experience are best suited for this project, but the board has not had a chance to meet with the firm since making the announcement, so a timeline is a bit premature

“I would hope it would be done this fall. But I know that’s not possible,” he said. “It’s hard to put a date on it right now.”

The Edna L. Toliver Intermediate School is scheduled to be completed by next fall, in time to open for the 2018-2019 school year. At that point, students in preschool, kindergarten and first grade will be attending Hogsett, even though it’s unlikely the project there will be entirely completed.

Look said they will work with the architect on the appropriate schedule for the building to be completed, in the best way for students, with the funds available.

“We know what our bonding capacity is,” Look said. Calling it a rough estimate, he said they have a budget of $5 million to work with.

“Obviously, you want it as soon as possible, but you want to get the most out of the money you have available,” he said. “We working the fiscal agents to see just what our full capacity is and how that adjusts over time.”

The board also: 

• Decided to continue the contract for the District of Innovation status.

• Awarded a mowing bid to Isaiah House.

• Looked at the Toliver dedication plaque, adding the past two sets of board members and former Superintendent Carmen Coleman.

• Determined to include the Bate mascot discussion on the June working session meeting.