SmallTownNews
MOA selected as architect for new District 4 schools

BY BARBARA ANNE GREENE

Basin Republican Rustler of Basin, Wyoming

After narrowing down nine proposals to four to interview, the Big Horn County School District Board of Trustees architect selection committee chose MOA Architecture of Casper to design the new schools.

On the selection committee members were board members Deb Craft and Audra Crouse, Superintendent Roy Hoyt, RHS Principal Tony Anson, Business Manager Andy DeGraw, John Rexius and Mike Pachal. The latter two are from the Wyoming School Facilities Department.

Hoyt said, "MOA has the horse power to really move the process forward in a timely manner. They assured us that they would have two design teams working on the project, as opposed to one team, which would be what most design teams would do." He also noted that the MOA team has done a great deal of work in Wyoming and have a performance reputation that is very good. Hoyt said he liked their ideas on how they would involve as many of the stakeholders as possible "to get their input on the design."

DeGraw echoed Hoyt's confidence in MOA. He recommended MOA for the following reasons. 1. Size of company and ability to meet the timeline. 2. They are committed to the districts timeline and seem to have the resources and ability. 3. Wyoming presence — their office is in Casper and they have access to many local consultants/subcontractors. 4. Past body of work. "I liked their other comparable projects that were included in their proposal." 5. Planning process — they have an extensive design process that allows for input from the district administration, teachers, staff, community members and other stakeholders.

Board member Audra Crouse added the MOA was best able to stay in budget. "They have a whole department that does nothing but cost estimating." She thinks that because of this and the School Facilities Commission keeping a tight rein on the costs that the district will be able to keep the project within budget.

Another aspect of MOA, Crouse said, was they use a software program* called Revit. She said as they explained to the board it is software specifically for architects and designers that helps them do more accurate designs. "MOA and the all their sub-contractors are also using the program and it is interactive. This should reduce errors and change orders."

Crouse also had praise for some of the amazing ideas MOA had for saving space and cost. "We want to do a lot without the bigger budget of larger school districts."

DeGraw said the next step is a design "kickoff" meeting in mid January with MOA and the district's executive committee. The committee will be comprised of board members and administrators.



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