Pelham BOE OKs architectural firm for school projects

The Pelham Board of Education has contracted with the Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood firm to provide architectural services for future school renovations and projects. (File)

The Pelham Board of Education has contracted with the Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood firm to provide architectural services for future school renovations and projects. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

The Pelham Board of Education will work with the Birmingham-based Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood firm to provide architectural services for future school building and renovation projects.

During a Feb. 10 meeting, the School Board voted unanimously to enter into a contract with the company to provide the services for the upcoming school system’s capital projects.

“There are some issues we need to hit the ground running on July 1,” said Pelham Interim School Superintendent Dr. Tim Alford. “We need to have some good options for this (School) Board to consider.”

Pelham School Board President Rick Rhoades said the company will take a “comprehensive look” at the city’s current facilities, and will make recommendations about future projects based on the facility assessment.

“They are going to take a comprehensive look at where we are and where we need to go,” Rhoades said during an interview after the meeting. “We don’t know exactly what we are capable of doing, how much we can borrow and so forth, but we need to have a plan of where we are going sooner rather than later.”

The board’s vote came after Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood representative Gary Owen Jr. presented a brief history of the company and outlined other school-related projects the firm has completed.

Owen said Goodwyn Mills and Cawood has worked with school systems such as Leeds, Homewood and Jefferson County in the past, and would be able to “move quickly” to help the Pelham School Board as it eyes a July 1 split date from the Shelby County School System.

“With the exception of Valley (Intermediate), any time you’ve got something that old and it’s used daily by kids, you are going to need some capital improvements,” School Board member Brian Long said of the city’s schools.

In January, Rhoades said the school board could possibly borrow about $45 million to construct a new elementary school and move the city’s middle school to a more central location.