The Waynesboro Area School Board approved what it hopes is the final settlement in a lawsuit tied to the expansion of the district’s lone high school.
The board on Monday voted 8-1 to pay $61,000 to EI Associates, the architecture firm involved in the $46 million-plus renovation of Waynesboro Area Senior High School.
The project was completed about three years ago, but lawsuits have lingered, costing the district more than $1 million.
In October, the school board agreed to pay roughly $1.14 million to settle a lawsuit involving Lobar Inc., Herre Bros Inc. and EI Associates.
At the time, the board was assured by Solicitor James Flower that the $1.14 million would “settle” the issue in regards to the high school project.
According to a Herald-Mail story in October, Flower said attorneys would prepare a comprehensive settlement agreement and secure full releases from the parties involved. Then, the payment will be made and the case status updated as “settled.”
Flower was not in attendance at Monday’s meeting.
Board member Ed Wilson, who cast the dissenting vote, said he was getting fed up with the continued payments.
“We were told that the October settlement would be the end of it,” Wilson said before voting. “I’ve seen lawyers and architects and others do it, and I’m drawing a line in the sand. I vote no, and I think they should have to pay for it.”
Board President Chris Lind said he was happy to put the lawsuit in the rearview mirror.
“It’s good to have this finished and behind us,” Lind said.
The $61,000, which Superintendent Sherian Diller said in board documents was “substantially less” than what EI Associates was asking, will be paid out of a construction fund that was set aside by the board, Lind said.
General contractor Lobar Inc. was asking for $2.9 million in damages, saying it incurred additional labor, material and overhead costs associated with a deficient and defective design for the building's steel structure.
It also claimed in a complaint filed in June 2010 that the school district refused to pay $1.4 million owed to the company.
The school district spent about $46 million renovating and expanding the school between 2007 and 2009.
The project added 108,000 square feet onto the school, including a 1,600-seat auditorium and three-court gymnasium.