CHIPLEY — The Washington County School Board decided to shop locally when they selected Hatch Mott MacDonald to serve as the district’s contracted architectural firm.


CHIPLEY — The Washington County School Board decided to shop locally when they selected Hatch Mott MacDonald to serve as the district’s contracted architectural firm.



Hatch Mott MacDonald has a Chipley branch office, Senior Project Manager Ricky Branton told the board members on Tuesday during a special meeting.



“We live here, and we’ll be here at all your meetings and workshops. Being local, we can be more responsive. If you need a survey in Vernon, if you call me tonight I can have a team out there tomorrow,” Branton said.



The board also heard presentations from DAG Architects Inc. of Destin and Paul A. Donofro & Associates Architects of Marianna, but decided to go with Hatch Mott MacDonald after a few minutes of discussion.



“We’re committed to this school board,” Branton said. “We were disappointed not to get the chance to work on the Kate M. Smith Elementary School, but we are excited to get the opportunity to work with the school district.”



Branton said Hatch Mott MacDonald is a full-service architect and engineering firm.



Hatch Mott MacDonald is an award-winning, full service consulting engineering firm that offers clients multidisciplinary expertise and comprehensive capabilities in planning, project development, studies and analysis, design, procurement, construction engineering and inspection, project, program and construction management, and facility maintenance and operations, according to hatchmott.com.



The company has offices across the U.S. and has regional offices in Panama City, Pensacola, Tallahassee as well as the Chipley office.



“Hatch Mott MacDonald is a North American company which has earned a reputation for technical excellence, innovation, and client responsiveness on some of the most prominent and challenging projects,” according to the website. “Hatch Mott MacDonald is currently ranked as the 36th largest design firm in the United States, with yet higher rankings in selected market sectors, such as transportation and pipelines.”



“This is another tough choice, at the end of the day we would be well served by any of the three firms,” said Board Chairman Terry Ellis.



“What sticks out to me is the chance of having someone local,” said Board Member Milton Brown.



Superintendent Joe Taylor said DAG Architects Inc. had been the district’s contract architect on and off since the mid-1990s.



“Miss (Sandra) Cook chose not to renew the contract and we have been without one for three years,” Taylor said.



Taylor said that the contract does not include a retainer for the architectural firm, but the company would be paid when they did work for the district based on an agreed upon scale. The contracted firm would be called in for projects costing up to $2 million.



“The more complex the work, the more it costs,” Taylor said.



Branton presented a rate sheet to the board for their consideration. “We have a standard rate sheet and we bill per employee based on their classification,” he said.



School Board Attorney Jeff Goodman said he would have the contract ready for the board to approve at the June 10 meeting.



“I’ll get with Rick and Mr. Taylor and have it ready for the next board meeting,” Goodman said.