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Largo city commissioners stick with original choice for architect of recreation center facilities

After more than two months of dueling arguments, a feud between two competing architectural firms over a city contract was settled Tuesday night.

Largo city commissioners unanimously voted to stick with their original choice and award the $2.6 million contract to design the city's new Highland Recreation Center facilities to Gould Evans.

In April, St. Petersburg firm Wannemacher Jensen Architects claimed that rival firm Gould Evans fudged on its resume, presenting sample projects that Jensen claimed were not the sole work of Gould Evans.

Gould Evans, with offices in Tampa, denied it misrepresented anything.

"For design professionals, this is very unusual. It's very disturbing we are put in this position. We made no attempt to deceive anyone," said Gould Evans principal architect Steve Carpenter.

Both parties submitted letters from clients and other architects to support their arguments.

In May, City Manager Mac Craig denied Jensen's complaint and recommended the city move forward in contract negotiations.

Jensen protested, and the matter went to commissioners.

While City Attorney Alan Zimmet said Jensen could file a civil lawsuit, he said he felt the matter was closed.

"I would think this ends it," Zimmet said.

Largo city commissioners stick with original choice for architect of recreation center facilities 07/20/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 20, 2010 9:54pm]
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