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Fair Street architect interviews today and Thursday
School board choosing between 2 candidates
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The Gainesville City Schools Board of Education plans to interview two architects vying for the $19 million reconstruction of Fair Street International Baccalaureate World School.

The sessions, open to the public, are set for 5:30 p.m. today and Thursday at the Fair Street Neighborhood Center, 715 Fair St.

The board will interview H. Lloyd Hill Architects & Associates of Gainesville and Robinson Loia Roof of Alpharetta, with plans to select one of them by the board's April 25 meeting, Superintendent Merrianne Dyer said Monday.

The school system sent out a request for proposals from firms and conducted preliminary interviews in the fall, she said.

Administrators are ready to proceed on the project, as voters on March 15 approved extending the special purpose local option sales tax for schools for five years.

"The board wanted to have an opportunity to ask (the architects) specific questions," Dyer said.

She anticipates the interviews will last an hour each.

"The architect will assist us with the close-out documents for the state, closing out the school," Dyer said. "That (process) will probably take four to six weeks. The architect will then begin drawing the plans."

The project is set to begin in September.

The school was built in 1937 and has numerous structural concerns, including a leaky roof and sinking subfloor.

Crews will raze and rebuild the school on the same site.

Fair Street, which also serves as a community center, will continue to house programs and day camps this summer.

When construction begins, Gainesville Middle School and the Woods Mill Academy gym will become temporary community centers, Dyer said.

"We've got rooms and buildings ready," she said. "We've been working all year over at Woods Mill. We're going to be in the modular buildings there with the smaller children — the kindergartners — inside the school.

"We've been working on some wiring and improvement issues to be ready for them."