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School Board likely to pick HHS architect Friday

The Henderson County School Board will meet at 9 a.m. Thursday to hear two finalists pitch their architectural firm’s ideas for Hendersonville High School construction.

An ad hoc committee made up of four School Board members and three administrators voted 5-2 on Sept. 14 to recommend ClarkNexsen, the county’s architect of record, to draw new plans for the project after the School Board and Board of Commissioners reached an impasse. The second place finisher was PFA/LS3P, a partnership of firms based in Asheville and Charlotte.
School Board Chair Amy Lynn Holt and Blair Craven voted for PFA/LS3P, which presented drawings that showed a combination of new buildings and Stillwell building renovation
“I’ve been to hundreds, maybe a thousand presentations from financial advisers, CPAs, lawyers and that was one of the most singularly impressive presentations I’ve ever seen in my life,” Craven, a financial adviser with Merrill Lynch, said last week.
When it took up the recommendation, the School Board deadlocked 3-3, meaning the motion to hire ClarkNexsen had failed. The full board will hear hour-long presentations at 9 to 10 a.m. Thursday.
“Then we’ll discuss it and then make a decision,” Holt said. “We can’t let this drag on anymore.”
The winning firm will have three months to prepare new plans for the future of HHS. Commissioners have said they need a recommendation by January, when they will begin drafting a 2019-20 budget and planning for capital projects countywide over the next four years.