FARMINGTON — The project to build a new Farmington High School campus hit a potential snag after the architecture firm in charge of the job resigned.
At the Farmington Municipal School District Board of Education meeting Thursday evening, board members accepted the resignation of Greer Stafford/SJCF Architecture, the firm that had been guiding the estimated $62 million project.
The resignation came after a disagreement between the district and the firm, according to Scott Stafford, the president of the architecture company, which has offices in Farmington and Albuquerque.
"During the course of the project development, we came to an impasse with the district, therefore we resigned," Stafford said. "There was no violation of the contract obligation, period."
The school district's chief of operations, Ted Lasiewicz, said he could not comment on the resignation because of confidentially agreements the district signed with the firm.
But Lasiewicz said the Farmington High project is on track based on the schedules discussed in design meetings. He did not provide a new time frame for the project, which has been estimated to be completed at the end of 2016.
"The most recent schedules we've had in the design meetings were pushing (the completion date) back to a point that is now doable with a new architect," Lasiewicz said.
Lasiewicz said there will be no additional costs to the project because the district and the New Mexico Public Schools Facilities Authority own all of the documents related to the design process. He said the district and the Public Schools Facilities Authority, which is providing 59 percent of the funding for the project, will work together to find a new architect.
In a special meeting Feb. 20, the school board and administrators discussed the contract with Greer Stafford in an executive session that was closed to the public.
On May 16, the school board awarded Greer Stafford the contract for demolishing and rebuilding the aging Farmington High campus.
The contract for design services was approved for 5.7 percent of the cost of the project, which was then estimated at $50 million. The final payment was to be based on the actual cost of construction.
Lasiewicz declined to comment on the specifics of the contract between the district and the firm.
Work on the project had progressed to the point where Greer Stafford representatives and district administrators held a public meeting in January to solicit opinions from parents and the community on four possible school layouts.
Greer Stafford has been involved in a number of projects with the Farmington Municipal School District, including renovation and additions at McKinley Elementary, the Career and Technology Center and Piedra Vista High.
Currently, the firm is working on replacing the roofs of several schools and completing heating, electrical and air conditioning repairs on district buildings.
Lasiewicz said the firm is still involved with district projects and will continue to work with the district in the future.
"Greer Stafford is an excellent architectural firm that is still doing a lot with the district," Lasiewicz said.
The firm has also completed other work in San Juan County, including at Koogler Middle School in Aztec, Bloomfield High School and San Juan College's Health and Human Performance Center and Health Sciences Center.