A project manager and architectural firm hired to work on a Medford high school construction project have dissolved a corporate partnership in an effort to eliminate any appearance of a conflict of interest.

A project manager and architectural firm hired to work on a Medford high school construction project have dissolved a corporate partnership in an effort to eliminate any appearance of a conflict of interest.

Portland-based Day CPM Services earlier this week bought out Mahlum Architects' interest in the project management company for an undisclosed amount.

The two firms had been hired separately by the Medford School District to work on the $82 million South Medford High School new construction project at 1551 Cunningham Ave. The project is part of a $189 million bond package voters approved in November 2006.

"We were aware of the business connection between them, and we were comfortable with it," said Medford schools Superintendent Phil Long. "When we did reference checks on them, the clients were happy with their work."

Some district constituents, however, were uncomfortable with the arrangement and challenged the district on the propriety of it.

Long said district officials did not ask the firms to do away with their partnership.

The firms had been discussing ending the business relationship for a few months because of criticism from competitors and questions about the partnership from a client other than the Medford School District, said Brian Terrett, a Eugene-based public relations consultant hired by Day.

Day CPM continues to occupy Mahlum offices. However, the goal is to find a separate location in the next 30 days, Terrett said.

— Paris Achen