SCHOOL ARCHITECTS TO REPORT ON DOMES

June 04, 2000 12:00 am

Representatives of a Eugene architectural firm are scheduled during a June 12, 7 p.m. meeting in Azalea Middle School library to report on their cost comparisons between dome and conventional construction programs.

The construction programs were recommended to the Brookings-Harbor School District by a citizens' committee that worked for nearly a year.

Dr. Paul Prevenas, district superintendent, said the public is encouraged to attend the meeting to be conducted by the firms Dick Bryant and Harriet Cherry. My hope is that the entire school board will be there to get the information first hand.

The board will be asked at its June 19 meeting to make a choice between dome and conventional construction, he said.

It will be one of the key decisions to be made by the board prior to August when it finally decides what will be presented to the voters in November at the general election.

Domes have not been used by Oregon school districts, but the citizens committee was impressed by what they might offer. The committee received information from a consulting architect from Arizona that the domes would be workable and could be constructed for less money.

But, in making the recommendation to the school district, the committee also recommended two programs to use conventional construction. As proposed, the domes would be used for non-classroom buildings such as cafeterias and gymnasiums. That is because the cost saving of the domes is reduced when windows are added to them. The committee agreed that classroom benefit by having windows.

Although it liked the domes, the committee realized that the Arizona information about the domes might be overly optimistic, so it suggested to the school board that it hire an architect to make an objective cost analysis between the proposed programs, dome and conventional.

Dr. Prevenas said the architects, WBGS, had used Paragon Engineering and a dome institute in Idaho to assist with the analysis. He said a lot of information will be presented during the June 12 public meeting. The week between the public meeting and the school board meeting will give everyone the opportunity to synthesize that information, Prevenas said.

After the school board has decided on the domes, it will be asked in July to choose one of three building programs. They would represent low cost, medium and high cost. After one has been selected, it will be refined, and placed on the November ballot at the August meeting. The deadline is Aug. 29 for the measure to appear on the November ballot, he said.

The architects are working for the school district under a maximum $35,000 agreement. If the bonds were approved by the voters, the district could engage the same architects or another firm to actually design the improvements. That would cost an additional sum.