Architectural firm denies disputes school district's claims

Feb. 11, 2009
DLR Group and the Farmington (Minn.) district have sued each over costs of high school project

DLR Group has denied allegations that it mismanaged money and failed to comply with state codes in its designs for a $90 million high school project in the Farmington (Minn.) school district. The district has accused the architectural firm of failing to design plans that complied with required building, fire and safety codes; knowingly installing a potentially defective plumbing system; and failing to provide adequate on-site storm drainage. DLR, which sued the district in November for more than $600,000 in late payments that were mostly because of changes to the Farmington High School construction project, is asking the court to dismiss the district's counterclaims.

To read The St. Paul Pioneer Press article, click here.

FROM JANUARY 2009: The Farmington (Minn.) School District has hired new architects to work on construction of a high school and renovations at two existing district schools. The district fired DLR Group last year after DLR filed a breach of contract complaint against the district. The district hired Wolfgram Knutson and Pope Associates to take over the projects. Wolfgram Knutson's role will be primarily to watch over the work that remains at the new high school. Pope Associates has taken over responsibility for turning the existing high school into a middle school and for turning Farmington Middle School East into an elementary school.
To read The Farmington Independent article, click here.

FROM DECEMBER 2008: An architecture firm the Farmington (Minn.) school district fired last week has now quit working on the district's new high school and alleges the project is $1.5 million over budget. The school district fired DLR Group after the company filed a lawsuit alleging the district owes it an estimated $600,000 in unpaid bills. DLR also accuses the district of making $4 million in changes to the project, including removing a 10-foot section of the building through all three floors. (St. Paul Pioneer Press)

EARLIER: An architecture company still is working on building a new Farmington High School even after the school district fired the firm. (St. Paul Pioneer Press)

A dispute over unpaid bills has led the Farmington (Minn.) School Board to fire the architect that designed the new Farmington High School building and file a countersuit against the architect. DLR Group, which designed the new high school and was expected to be involved in the renovation of three district schools next summer, filed a suit last week because the district was more than 120 days late on a $600,000 payment. DLR senior principal Griff Davenport says the district withheld payments because it felt the firm bore some responsibility for a number of change orders, or adjustments to the plan made after the project was under way. (The Farmington Independent)

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