Architects leave DOWA-IBI, prompting a lawsuit, as Reynolds considers its next moves

CONTRIBUTED - Reynolds High School is getting more space and a fresh, modern look in its remodel. Following up on a story that appeared on Page A8 in the Nov. 3 edition of The Outlook, "Reynolds High architects leave project," a spokeswoman for the company is publicly commenting for the first time since several key employees walked off the job before the project was finished.

The story reported that an unspecified number of architects left DOWA-IBI, the firm that designed the remodel of Reynolds High School in Troutdale. The Reynolds School District's contract with DOWA-IBI is for $2.5 million.

The Outlook reached out several times to DOWA-IBI as the Nov. 3 news article was being written, but the firm did not return calls.

DOWA-IBI Global Education Lead Rachel DeWitt said the firm "has brought a lawsuit against Bric (the new firm founded by the departing DOWA-IBI architects) and we were initially reluctant to comment as we did not want to prejudice that lawsuit."

However, DeWitt said, "DOWA-IBI is open for business as usual, and in fact, has strengthened its renowned education practice with the addition of three new principals with many years of combined experience working in education architecture."

She said DOWA-IBI "did not leave Reynolds High School or the project."

Other school districts throughout the state were in the process of building and remodeling using DOWA-IBI.

"We have spoken to our clients about the departure of the three principals," Dewitt said. "We have communicated to all of our clients that we remain committed to them and to our work together."

The DOWA-IBI website is undergoing a redesign and will be live soon, she said.

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