Architect contract pending

Published 11:29 am Friday, September 24, 2010

GATESVILLE – A contract between Gates County officials and LS3P Associates, LTD is pending.

A recent story published by this newspaper reported that the Gates County Board of Commissioners had entered into the first of a two-stage contract with the architectural firm to perform work on the new Gates County Public Library.

It was pointed out at a recent meeting of the commissioners that the printed information was not correct.

It is true that the commissioners have approved LS3P Associates, LTD to perform the architectural work, which will initially consist of a feasibility study and community input meetings followed by the actual design of the new facility. Each will require a separate contract.

Roanoke-Chowan Publications reported that the first of those two contracts had been signed, but has now learned that is not the case.

Gates County Manager Toby Chappell said in a Thursday afternoon telephone interview that the contract for the initial stage of work is on the agenda for the Oct. 6 meeting of the board of commissioners.

The cost of either contract is not known at this time. However, Chappell did earlier state that the costs associated with the design stage contract will be based on the size of the project, which has yet to be determined.

“The size of the building, what it will look like and where it needs to be built will be determined by the architect once all the public input has been received,” Chappell said in a recent interview. “None of this has yet to be decided; nothing is yet set in stone.”

LS3P – founded in 1963 and with offices in Raleigh, Charlotte, Wilmington, Charleston, SC and Columbia, SC – won out over 310 Architecture and Fuller Architecture. Those three were the finalists chosen by the commissioners among the eight firms responding to a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) put out by county officials.  The other five were West & Stem Architects, MBAJ Architecture; William H. Dove, HB+M Architects and ADW Architects.

According to the LS3P website, the firm has worked on numerous projects over the years, including building and renovation work to 22 libraries in North and South Carolina.

The current Gates County Public Library in Gatesville remains located in the old Gates County Courthouse, one constructed in 1836. The courthouse, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, currently has several structural problems, not uncommon for a building nearly 175 years old.

Plans to renovate the existing facility, using USDA funds, were ruled out in February by a USDA engineer that visited the current library to determine the feasibility of the project. The engineer was of the opinion that it was not a prudent investment for USDA to invest in renovations to the current library.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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