At Wednesday's Dougherty County School Board meeting, members from an appointed committee were asked to give an update on the progress they made in finalizing a top ten list of architectural firms that would be used for seven different projects.
This is when the board learned there was now a top eleven list, rather than a top ten.
Jack Willis, the DCSS administrative assistant for support services, told FOX 31 that at the beginning of their committee meeting a board member suggested they eliminate the top five which will then make it easier to come up with a top ten list.
Willis says when the scores were presented one firm that was in the top five was fought strongly for by a board member which resulted in that firm going from the bottom five to the now top eleven list.
Darrel Ealum was the board member who fought for the firm in question, Maschke & Associates, which is owned by former board member David Maschke. Board members questioned if Ealum fought for this firm based on a person friendship.
Ealum assured FOX 31 that this was not the case, that Maschke and him do not have a friendship outside of the school board. Ealum said the reason Maschke & Associates was in the bottom five was because he missed out on the 15 points given for experience in construction on school buildings. The reason Maschke & Associates missed out on those points and that experience is because he served on the DCSS board for 12 years and wasn't able to take those opportunities.
Ealum says out of the 18 original firms, Maschke & Associates is the only one that plans to spend all of the construction fees locally, which is one of the reasons he feels strongly about this firm.
At the end of the day the board decided to let this committee do their job and interview the top eleven candidates they decided on. Those interviews will take place November 19th and 20th.