PITTSFIELD -- Two design firms favored by the city’s School Building Needs Commission to do the initial work on a Taconic High School building project made it to the interview stage Tuesday after a review at the state level.

Commission co-Chairs Kathleen Amuso and Superintendent Jason "Jake" McCandless, accompanied by Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi, attended a morning meeting in Boston of the Massachusetts School Building Authority design selection committee.

"We were very pleased with how it went," Amuso said. "We will now have another meeting Jan. 14 for interviews."

The state’s design selection team consisted of 13 officials and volunteers from related fields and the three Pittsfield officials. They reviewed all 10 applicants for the feasibility study and preliminary design phase of the Taconic project, which will determine renovation and rebuilding options for the high school and provide designs for comparison.

That phase is expected to be completed in late 2014, and from the information and design alternatives, the city and state officials will determine costs and the best construction option. The city has set aside up to $1.3 million for the feasibility phase, but the state is expected to provide 78 to 80 percent of the funding -- as well as a similar percentage of the final project cost.

The city’s Building Needs Commission earlier this month listed its three top applicant firms as Dore & Whittier of Burlington, Vt., and Newburyport; Kaestle Boos Associates of New Britain, Conn., and Mount Vernon Group Architects Inc. of Wakefield.

At the meeting Tuesday, Drummey Rosane Anderson Inc. of Waltham was chosen for the final three and Mount Vernon was eliminated, Amuso said

"We are excited to be at this point," she said of the multi-year planning process for renovation or replacement of Taconic, which was constructed in 1969. "We had 10 good design firms to choose from."

McCandless said that Drummey Rosane Anderson also had considerable support to become a finalist when the local commission made its three selections.

"I’m very pleased we have three excellent candidates," he said.

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