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Council picks Lake/Flato team to design new Central Library
Friday, December 12, 2008 by Austin Monitor
City Council named San Antonio-based Lake/Flato Architects and
Three firms had been selected as finalists out of 22 applicants after a rigorous screening procedure that included a focus on gathering public input and experience with similar library projects in other cities. Lake/Flato, however, is closely associated with the much-beloved
The vote was a surprise. Of the three finalists – which included high-profile local firm PageSoutherlandPage – Lake/Flato was third of the city matrix. Council Member Lee Leffingwell acknowledged the winning team’s third-place finish, but he noted only a handful of points separated the three teams.
“Lake/Flato had an excellent reputation with its projects,” Leffingwell said.
The evaluation matrix prepared by the city staff awarded Lake/Flato the fewest points of the three finalists. Staff’s recommendation was for the team of
“Just like the decision for choosing the architecture design team for this building (City Hall), it’s a difficult choice,” said
The Mayor briefly turned the chairmanship of the Council meeting over to
“It has been a very difficult decision and somewhat of a long process,”
Morrison had paid particular attention to the public comments on each team’s presentation along with all of the other information submitted, and that she concluded that “in order to have a successful project, we need to have not only a terrific, iconic building that functions in a terrific way, but also there are a lot of other issues that go along with it.”
The looming issue – which no one discussed publicly – was that another $10 million in fund-raising lies ahead for the Austin Public Library Foundation. It was the straw poll consensus that the Lake/Flato design was the one that could draw support. Council Member Sheryl Cole stopped just short of saying so in her comment on the vote.
“All three of the teams presented terrific past work and ideas that are fitting for
The staff’s evaluation matrix and recommendation, she said, properly addressed those additional issues, and convinced her to support the staff’s recommendation of
City staffers expect it to take several months to negotiate and execute the final contract with Lake/Flato. The city has budgeted $7.2 million dollars for the design process.
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