New hires signify firm’s dedication to servicing clients amid challenges brought on by COVID-19 pandemic

HMC Architects announced that Leo Ray-Lynch, AIA, NOMA, and Hal Hart, AIA, ALEP, have joined the firm’s PreK-12 practice.

Ray-Lynch, who is also vice president of the National Organization of Minority Architects’ (NOMA) West Region, will serve as principal-in-charge for HMC’s San Francisco and San Jose offices while Hart will serve as principal-in-charge for the firm’s Los Angeles and Ontario, Calif. offices. The moves come at a time when the firm is taking important steps to invest in the future of its PreK-12 practice to deliver progressive and resilient educational work in these regions.

“We are excited to welcome Leo and Hal as valuable additions to our dedicated teams,” said Brian Meyers, PreK-12 practice leader. “At a time where our education clients are faced with unprecedented challenges due to the pandemic, these gentlemen bring a wealth of experience to help HMC reinforce our momentum towards resilient learning environments that enhance student success, wellness, and community.”

Ray-Lynch has worked in the Bay Area for over 25 years as an employee of a public-school district and for private architecture firms, giving him a clear understanding of client needs and wants. Previously with WLC Architects, Ray-Lynch was responsible for coordinating the activities of design team members and consultants. His job also consisted of writing proposals, producing master plans, schematic design, design development and construction documents, budgeting, and coordinating the work of projects in development. In his new role, Ray-Lynch will focus on business development and serving and expanding the firm’s PreK-12 and higher education client base in the Bay Area.

As principal-in-charge for HMC’s Southern California region, Hal Hart—who brings a tremendous amount of experience with master planning and large projects—will lead the region’s business development and will work with project teams in order to help PreK-12 clients overcome unique post-COVID-19 challenges.

Previously with PBK Architects in Ventura, Calif., Hart spent most of his earlier career in the eastern U.S. where he worked on several large school projects including the conversion of a nineteenth century clothing manufacturing plant into an elementary school and district offices in Lancaster, Pa., a new administration building for the Loudoun County Public School Division, outside of Washington D.C., and historic facility renovations including the Troy Public High School in Bradford County, Pa. His first foray into Mission-style architecture was with the modernization of the Santa Ynez Valley Union High School in Santa Ynez, Calif.

For HMC clients, the leadership moves indicate considerable support towards the firm’s PreK-12 practice by bringing in proven leaders to improve the quality of its deliverables and project approach.

Ray-Lynch and Hart join HMC at a time when the firm is engaged in an ongoing investigative research effort to better understand the long-term effects of COVID-19 and develop solutions for a safe return to PreK-12 and higher education schools. The firm in August released a COVID-19 Campus Reboot Guide for PreK-12 schools after consulting with clients from various school districts and county offices of education, conducting surveys with parents, and doing a deep dive literature review on building design and infectious disease transmission/prevention.

Given the constantly changing conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, evolving knowledge about the disease, and shifting directives from governmental agencies, it’s HMC’s hope that the guide offers some clarity for educators and parents of school children.

Download HMC’s Campus Reboot Guide.

In addition to the Campus Reboot Guide, HMC is committed to sharing all of its research findings with the industry in a series of white papers that focus on five main areas of Technology, Adaptability and Flexibility, Regulatory/Budgetary/Institutional Impacts, Space Needs/Reduction and Restructuring, and Impact to Wellness/Mental Health as they relate to the PreK-12 and higher education markets.

Download HMC’s PreK-12 white papers.