06/03/09 — Architect selected for Union Station revitalization

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Architect selected for Union Station revitalization

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on June 3, 2009 1:46 PM

The same architect who completed the stabilization work on historic Union Station in downtown Goldsboro has been selected to proceed with the rest of the revitalization project.

David E. Gall, an architect from Winston-Salem will handle the next stage of the construction, Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp. director Julie Thompson said Monday night at the Goldsboro City Council work session.

The selection committee included Mrs. Thompson, senior project engineer Craig Newton with the North Carolina Department of Transportation Rail Division, Ed Davis, Assistant City Manager Tasha Logan and GATEWAY Director Alan Stubbs.

City inspections director Ed Cianfarra also helped with the process. Cianfarra obtained input from the candidates' past clients, a factor that was included in the selection committee's decision-making process.

Gall was chosen to proceed with the station based on a series of criteria including past related work and past comparable scope of work, Mrs. Thompson said.

"We paid special preference to certain criteria," she said.

By late last week the committee was discussing cost and fees with Gall. By North Carolina state law, architectural work is not put out for bid, Mrs. Thompson said.

Mayor Al King praised the committee's selection of architect.

"These guys are really, really professional and have our best interests at heart," he said.

Gall was selected from 10 semi-finalists and three finalists, a short list that was narrowed down from the more than 40 letters of inquiry the committee received from architectural firms across the country, and even a few from outside it.

"It was an interesting process, we learned a lot," Mrs. Thompson said.

Once Gall submits a proposal for the scope and fees of the Union Station project, the city will submit the proposal to the DOT for approval. Once approved by the DOT, the proposal will be brought before City Council before Gall begins work on the station.

The 100-year-old train station is set to become a multi-modal transportation center and will likely also provide office space for some city departments.

Gall has prior experience with Preservation North Carolina. He earned the highest tallied score of the firms the committee examined, Mrs. Thompson said.

Meanwhile, the Union Station steering committee is examining how to best use the money allocated to the project.

"When you're dealing with government money, you can't just do it," Stubbs said.

The $855,000 grant from the Federal Transportation Authority will be set aside specifically for constructing the bus center, possibly to the right of Union Station.

"It has to be used as a bus facility," Stubbs said.

There should not be a problem with making the exterior of the bus center match the existing structure, he believes.

"I have no concern, but it will be built to where it blends in," Stubbs said.

The NCDOT purchased Union Station in 2007. The city is providing a match of 10 to 20 percent of the cost of the work, while the rest is expected to come from various grants.