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Avery County Officials Set Qualification Guidelines for Architectural Firms Interested in Designing New Parks & Recreation Complex

By Tim Gardner

The County of Avery is currently accepting statements of qualifications from architectural firms interested in contracting with the County for architectural services related to the design and planning of a new Parks & Recreation complex.

Avery Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Martha Hicks said the commissioners are “supportive of a new Parks & Recreation complex and will proceed with one as the county can, and can afford to.”

According to County Manager Phillip Barrier, the new Parks & Recreation complex, once completed, will be located 220 Shady Street in Newland, near the Old Rock Gymnasium where the current Parks and Recreation Department is housed.

“Avery County will commit to building the best recreation center that’s affordable and meets our needs of the future. The center will provide needed service to the youth as well as seniors in the county,” Barrier stated. 

The selected architectural firm for a new Parks & Recreation complex will be responsible for the following:

*Site Design; Schematic Design

*Design Development

*All Permitting

*Project Schedule

*Construction Documents


*Construction Administration

*Budget Development

*Landscape Design

*Engineering Services-structural, civil, mechanical, electrical and plumbing *Interior Design

*Overall Project Management

*Compliance with all Federal, State and Local Code Requirements 

*Procurement and installation on non-fixed furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E), such as furniture, telephone system, computer systems and related necessities.

Architects interested in contracting with the county for the project must be properly licensed and registered as required by Chapter 83A of the State of North Carolina General Statutes.  Engineering and Land Surveying consultants also must be properly licensed and registered as required by Chapter 89C of the North Carolina General Statures.

All questions related to the Request for Quote (RFQ) shall be directed to: 

Phillip Barrier

Avery County Manager 

PO Box 640,

175 Linville Street

Newland, NC  28657

Telephone- (828) 733-8201

Email: phillip.barrier@averycountync.gov.

A Request For Quote (RFQ), also known as an invitation for bid (IFB), is a process in which a company solicits select suppliers and contractors to submit price quotes and bids for the chance to fulfill certain tasks or projects. The RFQ process is especially important to businesses and governments on federal, state, regional, county and city or town levels.

The RFQ deadline for a new Avery County Parks & Recreation complex is March 1, 2023.

Barrier said the written proposal content should provide background information about the company, its employees and its experience with related projects and related clients.  It also should cover the general experience of the firm as well as any consultants on the proposed team.  For the purposes of the RFQ, the term “company” shall refer to the prime respondent of the RFQ or, in other words, the company with who Avery County will enter into a contract for the new Parks & Recreation complex.  The term “consultant” shall refer to all consultants which the prime respondent will include on the project team.  The proposal shall clearly delineate any experience, background, etc. between the prime “company” and “consultants.”

Specifically, the RFQ should address the below detailed information under the seven sub-headlines and may submit their standard qualification package supplemented by a cover letter or attachments as necessary to comply with this request.

-Prime Firm Experience-

Identify at least three parks and recreation complexes or other multi-purpose governmental buildings that its firm has designed and provide this data:

*Building name, address and telephone number

*Client name, title, address and telephone number

*Description of scope of project including use of pre-engineered construction, if any.

*Size of project…number of gross square feet.

*Project design

*Cost of project…estimated cost, actual cost, and dollars per square foot. *Explain any factors that contributed to the actual cost exceeding the estimated cost by more than 2 percent.  

*Indicate how the firm controls costs and how that has been effective in the past.

*Estimated schedule and actual schedule… Explain any factors that caused the actual schedule to exceed the estimated schedule by more than 30 days.

*Identify all consultants and /or firms that participated in the project and their respective roles.

-Associated Firm Profile-

Identify the firm that will be prime along with associated firms and consultants. 

Provide the following for each firm:

*Firm name, address, telephone number, facsimile number, principal/CEO and contact person (including title).

*Intended role for this project.

*Identify, by name, the members of the design team, their roles and responsibilities.

*Brief description of firm history.

*Include three (3) references.

-Key Personnel-

Provide an organizational chart and identify the following:

*Chief Executive Officer (CEO)


*The project architect who will manage the Project

*List Sub-consultants

*Include Educational backgrounds

-Understanding of the Project-

Briefly state the firm’s understanding of the Avery Parks & Recreation Complex building project. Architectural firms may also submit sketches or renderings to illustrate its understanding or vision of the project.

-Project Approach-

Architectural firms should describe its general project approach and schedule of implementation and operation.

 -Other Projects-

Identify all other commercial projects that have multi-purpose facilities in which its firm is currently engaged or has completed within the last ten (10) years.  Also, provide the name and address of the project, along with the client’s name and telephone number.

 -Architectural Firm’s Submission-

The Architectural/Design/Engineering firm is required to submit five copies of the RFQ response.  Facsimile submissions will not be accepted.  Submissions must be signed by a representative authorized to bind the firm to a contract.  Proposals received after 4:30 p.m. on March 1, 2023 will be disqualified from consideration.   All proposals must be contained within a package that is marked “Avery County Parks & Recreation Complex Project” and addressed to the following:  Avery County, ATTN: Phillip Barrier, PO Box 640, 175 Linville Street, Newland, NC  28657.

The County reserves the right to reject any and all proposals, and to terminate the Request for Qualifications process at any time.

The Avery County Commissioners have also established a thorough selection process that all architectural firms must meet to be considered for 

consideration for the Parks & Recreation Complex.

The County Manager (Barrier), Finance Officer Caleb Hogan, Parks & Recreation Director Robbie Willis and two members (to be announced) of the Avery County Board of Commissioners will serve as the selection committee for all applicants deemed eligible and qualified, seeking the advice and input of such other local officials as they mandate as appropriate. 

The selection committee will review and identify the firm or top firms that are most qualified for the services requested.  Interviews may be conducted with the short-listed firms to permit further evaluation of qualifications.  If deemed necessary by the selection committee, it is anticipated that interviews will be conducted March 5 through 30, 2023.

By way of example, but not limitation, the following considerations will be utilized during the selection process from the submitted and eligible proposals:

*The thoroughness of the proposal regarding the tasks addressed in the Scope section of the RFQ.

*The firm’s experience in designing multi-purpose governmental buildings.

*The successful experience of the staff proposed to be assigned to this project to perform the type of work required.

*The firm’s financial ability to undertake the work and assume liability for the project.

*The firm’s proven ability to complete tasks on time.

*Project approach and methodology.

*Overall performance on past projects, as evidenced by previous contracts.

*Overall consideration of design elements.

A recommendation for which architectural firm to hire will be made to the full Board of Commissioners–Chairwoman Martha Hicks, Vice-Chairman Tim Phillips, Dennis Aldridge, Wood Hall (Woodie) Young, Jr. and Robert Burleson for approval.

Barrier said the approval date has been established as July 1, 2023.

He also noted that the County of Avery reserves the right, as its sole discretion; to accept a response that does not satisfy all requirements but which, in county officials’ judgement, sufficiently demonstrates the ability to produce, deliver, design, permit and construct a Parks & Recreation complex building and to satisfy the major requirements set forth in the RFQ.  The County also reserves the right to interview any or all respondents to the RFQ, or to request additional information or clarifications.  By completing and responding to Avery County’s RFQ, each architectural firm allows the County to contact any person, business, group or organization that may have information to determine the firm’s ability to complete the project as presented.

The County expects to complete its evaluation process to select a qualified partner, but additionally reserves the right to change key dates and actions as the need arises.

-Information of specifics and related criteria mandated that architectural firms must submit to be considered for conducting the design and planning for a new Parks & Recreation complex and details of the selection process for hiring an architectural firm was supplied by the County of Avery-