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BatesForum no longer will design OTC’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing.
Rendering provided by Ozarks Technical Community College
BatesForum no longer will design OTC’s Center for Advanced Manufacturing.

OTC switches firms amid ‘changes in management’ at Bates

Posted online

The Ozarks Technical Community College Board of Trustees voted to switch architecture firms for its $20 million Center for Advanced Manufacturing.

The board voted yesterday to name Dake Wells Architecture Inc., along with its national partner, Minneapolis-based Perkins & Will Inc, project architects for the center scheduled for completion in 2022, according to a news release.

The change marks a switch from BatesForum LLC, which was awarded the contract in February. OTC officials cited “pending material changes in the management and proposed project team of BatesForum,” affecting their ranking among firms that applied to the school’s request for qualifications. OTC spokesman Mark Miller declined to elaborate on the BatesForum changes, and a board memo provided to Springfield Business Journal also did not detail specifics.

“It was extremely important for the college to partner with a local firm for this project, and Dake Wells ranked high in the RFQ process,” OTC Chancellor Hal Higdon said in the release. “Plus, the firm partnered with international architects, Perkins & Will, which has experience designing facilities similar to the scope and caliber of the (Center for Advanced Manufacturing).”

BatesForum was formed through a 2018 merger between Springfield-based Bates and Forum Studio, a subsidiary of Chicago-based architecture, engineering, construction and real estate firm Clayco Inc.

Clayco Chief Communications Officer Jessica Herrala this morning said no officer changes were made in the design practice at BatesForum.

“However, we are on track to announce the vision and final transition plan for the design practice on April 15,” she said.

Reached this morning, BatesForum President Steve Warlick said he continues to lead the five-office company, and that he resides mostly in St. Louis. He declined to address the changes slated to be announced later this month.

On SBJ’s recently published list of the area’s largest architectural firms, No. 1 ranked BatesForum listed its top executive as principal Ryan Faust. On SBJ’s 2018 list, Bates reported its two top executives were Warlick, president and CEO, and Bo Hagerman, director of design.

At OTC, Dake Wells is slated to be paid between $1.6 million and $2.7 million for its services, according to the release.

OTC officials said in the release BatesForum was made aware of the board decision. Eighteen proposals were submitted in response to the RFQ.

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