SAN FRANCISCO — The royal wedding isn’t the only marriage causing a stir.
California-based planning and design firm HMC Architects merged with Beverly Prior Architects of San Francisco.
Beverly Prior Architects will become HMC+Beverly Prior Architects and will continue to serve clients from their current San Francisco office.
Officials from HMC said they had been planning for a San Francisco office for the past few years.
“After getting to know Beverly over the past year and learning she shares a similar vision, culture of collaboration and client-focused service, it became clear this was just a natural fit for everyone,” said HMC’s president and CEO Randy Peterson.
Peterson added that Beverly has built an “exceptional reputation within the architecture profession over the past 25 years.
Officials from the firms predict the merger will enhance both companies’ geographic reach, while strengthening positions in multiple market segments.
In addition to enhancing Beverly Prior Architecture’s education markets with its own portfolio, HMC offers its experience in healthcare, interior architecture and specialty education consulting services.
Meanwhile, Beverly Prior Architects plans to strengthen HMC’s presence in Northern California and their expertise in their justice and civic market sectors firmwide.
Prior said that in the past firms that wanted to enter the San Francisco or California market had regularly contacted her.
“With HMC Architects, the synergies in building our practices together were quite exciting, and I was inspired by their dedication to design excellence,” she said. “Our similarities of client focus, vision, and culture were a great foundation to build on, so this was the right fit at the right time.”
Prior, who founded the firm in 1986, will be principal-in-charge and will serve in a corporate leadership role as the firm’s practice leader for its justice market. Cheryl Lentini, formerly managing director, will become the San Francisco office’s managing principal.
The firm’s work in the education sector includes the ACORN Woodland and Encompass Academy Elementary schools and Chabot Elementary School in Oakland. Currently, the firm is designing two new high schools, a continuation high school and a charter school, on a single site in Richmond, Calif., for Samuel L. Gompers Continuation High School and Leadership Public Schools.
Beverly Prior Architects also designed the Laney College Art Building and the Arts Building Renovation at San Mateo College, as well as the Colusa Outreach Center for the Woodland Community College, Yuba Community College district.
The firm is currently working on a two-story modular classroom design.
Prior said that beyond the traditional architectural design services, the merger can help school districts navigate the “complicated and ever-changing” State School Facilities Program by leveraging expertise in the areas of state and federal funding, facilities master planning, financial planning, site acquisition, budgeting, scheduling, bond planning and election services.
The firm has a team of educational professionals across the state, including at the state capitol, who are up to date on the challenges facing California school districts, such as aging facilities, declining enrollments, development and school site concerns, and community impacts, as well as the effects of all of these influences on the learning environment, Prior said.
“This knowledge allows us to offer design and planning solutions that meet enrollment needs while addressing long-range educational goals for school districts throughout the state,” she said.