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Four firms will share recreation planning

By Jackie R. Broach
Coastal Observer

Instead of selecting one firm to plan new recreation facilities for Georgetown County, county staff is negotiating to work with four.

In a Jan. 5 pre-bid conference with the four firms that made the county’s short list for the project, one of the firms suggested a four-way partnership. County officials liked the idea.

“It was noted the county had four qualified firms it would be comfortable using,” said County Administrator Sel Hemingway. “At this juncture, where we’re finding it difficult to define the scope of work to be done, it was suggested they work cooperatively and jointly to come up with a conceptual design for the parks.”

The firms are SGA Architecture of Pawleys Island, Woolpert of Charleston, Wood + Partners of Hilton Head and DDC Engineers of Myrtle Beach.

“It’s a unique approach, but it’s something we feel the county can benefit from,” Hemingway added. “With a joint effort, you have one professional firm scrutinizing the suggestions and concepts of another. There’s a lot of expertise in that equation.”

County Council gave its support to the partnership Tuesday. Now staff will begin further discussions with the firms and ask them to work up a proposal for council including a price.

Hemingway said employing four firms shouldn’t be more expensive than what was originally planned, because the scope of the work won’t change.

The firms will also need to decide how to proceed with seeing the projects through once the design stage is finished.

With recreation projects split between four geographic areas of the county, the four firms could split the areas between them.

A proposal is expected be ready for council’s approval no later than its Feb. 9 meeting.

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