Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Legal fees swell cost of school construction | Washington Examiner

While the brand new Richard Montgomery High School is evaluated for damage to the 14 rooms that were flooded yesterday when a sprinkler head broke, here is a reminder about other recent MCPS school construction issues.

In September this blog reported on the $2.1 million in construction cost overruns by MCPS that were to be approved by the Montgomery County Council without any opportunity for public comment.

Last year, the Examiner reported on the legal fees that accompany construction errors in the following article. Did MCPS make a good decision in pursuing litigation against this contractor? MCPS spent over $200,000 in legal fees on this one project. How did MCPS do? They settled for $525,000 on a $10 million claim.

By: Leah Fabel
Examiner Staff Writer
March 18, 2008

...Court documents filed in November 2006 accused McKissack and McKissack, a D.C.-based architecture and engineering firm, of nearly $8 million in cost overruns, designs out of compliance with state and local code, and delays resulting in forced overtime.
Total construction costs for the school, now in its second year of operation, exceeded $20 million and because of design flaws will require more money for upkeep, the complaint said. In all, the district demanded a $10 million settlement plus interest and fees.
In its defense, lawyers for the architects said a variety of factors contributed to increased costs, particularly design changes requested by the schools.

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