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Architects at Fielding Nair International who specialize in educational design to improve student learning will lead the Bloomfield Hills Schools community through a six-month high school design process, and production of schematics.

BHS trustees at Thursday’s Board of Education meeting approved a not to exceed $863,116 to FNI for facilitation, planning and design work to build community engagement. Importantly, FNI will also produce a high school design in cooperation with architect-engineers and a construction manager to be selected by the Board on Nov. 4.

“We were looking for a firm that has the best design process and best understands educational outcomes,” said Rob Glass, BHS superintendent. “Our committee had strong consensus for FNI. We need to put 1,600 students on the Andover site to protect our operating budget, but we must also get this design process right. FNI can deliver the intellectual property and leadership to accomplish that.”

Interactive workshops with various stakeholder groups will begin in late October or early November, led by FNI principals Prakash Nair and Randy Fielding. Importantly, some stakeholder surveys will be done prior to that time to lay the groundwork for community engagement.

In addition, faculty will be highly involved in the decision process and will be provided with professional development to fully benefit from enhanced opportunities afforded by the new facilities.

“Our exceptional staff can offer a wealth of educational knowledge and FNI will help us translate that into a basis for community dialogue,” said Ingrid Day, Board of Education president.

A 19-member vendor selection committee of students, parents, teachers, administrators and community members noted the firm’s educational expertise, international experience and perspective, ability to make “21st century instruction” more concrete, and likelihood of challenging the stakeholders’ comfort zone.

Throughout the process, FNI will integrate best practices and research in education and architecture to create sustainable design solutions. FNI’s community engagement process is designed to build consensus and increase buy-in from the entire community.

Opportunities for community engagement in the design process will be announced later this month on the District’s website at www.bloomfield.org; on Twitter (@bhschools); on Facebook (Bloomfield Hills Schools; Bloomfield Hills Schools Alumni); and on Linked In (Andover and Lahser Alumni group).

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