Supervisors approve RFP to find new architect

Published 7:13 pm Tuesday, August 27, 2019


The Southampton County Board of Supervisors on Monday night unanimously approved the draft form of request for proposals in finding a new architect to renovate its courthouse. But that was no quick decision made, as each of the supervisors weighed in on the issue.

Even before the topic came up on the agenda, though, county resident Dan Crumpler spoke during public comment, and reminded the board that at the meeting on Aug. 6, virtually everyone stood up on request to show support that the nearby courthouse only be renovated. Crumpler said that renovation should not include adding more square footage to the existing structure. He also accused county administrator Michael Johnson of misleading people on the matter.

Further, the speaker said the city needs to be involved. Crumpler also said the RFP needs to correctly reflect the people’s wishes and called on the board to not approve the draft RFP as written.

The proposed legal advertisement, as found on, states: “Southampton County, Virginia will accept proposals until Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019 at 3:00 p.m., local prevailing time, from qualified architectural firms (“Offerors”) to provide professional services associated with development of an architectural program, architectural and engineering design, development of construction documents/bid specifications and construction administration services, all associated with expansion, repair and renovation of the Southampton County Courthouse. Southampton County intends to select one firm to provide these services using the competitive negotiation procedure for professional services as defined in Section 2.2-4301 of the Virginia Public Procurement Act. Full copies of the Request for Proposals may be requested by contacting Mr. Michael Johnson, County Administrator, at (757) 653-3015, or by email at”

Johnson confirmed that Crumpler was correct that the RFP includes language about expansion, and then told the supervisors they could take out the space needs, etc., listed further in the draft form.

Ronald West, vice chairman, said he felt the need for the City of Franklin’s input. Barry Porter, “I think people don’t understand that Franklin had just as much input on courts committee,” adding that there was one elected elected member and one citizen member.

Dr. Alan Edwards said, “Now we don’t know where we stand with Franklin … I have a lot of questions that need to be answered.”

Bruce Phillips agreed with Porter that “This needs to be done properly” and asked for another two weeks of study,” though Porter questioned the need, assuring everyone, “We both together will select the architect.”

Edwards then agreed with Porter that another meeting with the city is unnecessary.

Carl Faison asked “Are we still meeting standards,” to which Edwards said “Yes, but we don’t have to add 31,000 square feet.”

Randolph Cook said, “The bottom line is Franklin will be sitting at the table with us.”

Johnson said he could take out the language about expansion, and Phillips requested that reference to the square footage also be deleted. The administrator then suggested taking out background information altogether.

Before voting, the board agreed that all references to any additions be removed; likewise the background information should be taken out before advertising.