West Jefferson Hills selects design team for new high school
WTW Architects and Grimm + Parker have been selected to design the new Thomas Jefferson High School.
The West Jefferson Hills School Board in a 6-0 vote approved hiring the firms that will work as a team on the project. The building committee had considered 14 companies, then narrowed the list to five, which made presentations at special meetings last month.
The $70 million project will include a new high school and administration building on Old Clairton Road. District officials hope to have the project completed by September 2018.
The partnership of WTW, a Pittsburgh firm, and Grimm + Parker, out of Maryland, was described as being a “dynamic, experienced team” and “a firm with the most school experience in constructing K-12 buildings,” said Deb Pozycki, chairperson of the 10-member building committee. Seven of the group's votes went to WTW/Grimm + Parker as the first choice.
The architects' services are capped at 5.71 percent of the total bid cost for the project.
It was the firms' focus on student-centric design that garnered the board's support.
“It's not just bricks and mortar and a roof,” board President Tony Angotti said. “It's about the educational component that goes on inside.”
The committee was especially impressed with the experience of Steve Parker, founder of Grimm + Parker and the firm's educational consultant, who will lead district officials through decisions as the project progresses.
“We answered a lot of the questions posed to us and illustrated how we would work with the district,” said Doug Shuck, owner of WTW. “It will be an inclusive process.”
Shuck and his team hope to speak to as many of the stakeholders as they can, including teachers and students, as plans take shape. While there are beautiful views from the site, Shuck recognizes the challenges of land that has been strip-mined and could present mine and soil issues.
Superintendent Michael Panza described the selection as “the start of a four-year marriage.”
Board member David Graham was absent from the voting meeting. Shauna D'Alessandro, vice president of the board, and Marianne Neel, abstained from voting because they said they didn't hear the architects' presentations.
Dona S. Dreeland is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5803 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Tax hikes could help fund new West Jefferson Hills high school
- Controlled deer hunts approved at Pleasant Hills Arboretum