September 7, 2008 (RALEIGH, NC) — Frank Harmon, FAIA, principal of the award-winning firm Frank Harmon Architect PA in Raleigh, NC, has been hired to conduct the feasibility study and to create the conceptual design for the Northern Neck Oyster Hatchery Project (NNOHP) in Virginia.
For the study — the project’s Phase One – Harmon is already at work to help determine the feasibility of a commercial-scale oyster hatchery in Northern Neck, the northernmost of three peninsulas on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay. His conceptual design is also part of Phase One.
Phase Two will see the actual construction of a high-production hatchery in Northern Neck. Construction could begin in 12 to 18 months.
The NNOHP website lists two key reasons why the hatchery is needed: (1) the lack of oyster larvae and seed currently available in Virginia limits the industry’s stabilization and economic vitality; and (2) the hatchery’s ultimate goal is to supply the oyster industry in Northern Neck, and perhaps elsewhere, with quality larvae and seed. It also notes that the “level of public involvement will depend on the degree of success within the first several years of production.”
In 2006, Frank Harmon’s firm was selected to participate in the feasibility study for up to three oyster hatchery facilities and/or oyster research and education facilities along the coast for the North Carolina Aquarium Division for very similar reasons. The firm was also hired to design the facilities.
Harmon has extensive experience with projects that blend architecture with the enhancement of natural resources, including Duke University’s Ocean Science Teaching Center in Beaufort, NC, the Walter B. Jones Center for the Sounds, Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in Columbia, NC, and the NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ Prairie Ridge Eco-Station. The firm is currently working on Merchants Millpond Outdoor Educational building in Gatesville, N.C., and the Walnut Creek Urban Wetlands Educational Park in Raleigh.
The driving forces behind the new Virginia hatchery are the Northern Neck Planning District Commission; Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond and Westmoreland counties; Bevans Oyster Company; and Cowart and Kellum Seafood companies.For more information on the Northern Neck project, go to http://www.nnpdc.org/NNPDC-PROJ/nnpdc-proj-0003.htm.
For more information on Frank Harmon Architecture PA, visit http://www.frankharmon.com.