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Contractor sues architect over plans for Washington, D.C., high school

Dec. 20, 2016
Builders who carried out the modernization of Ballou Senior High contend that the architects provided incomplete plans.

The construction firms that carried out the modernization of Ballou Senior High School in Washington, D.C., have sued the project's architects, contending that the architects provided incomplete design plans for the building.

The Washington Business Journal reports that Chiaramonte-Hess, a joint venture of Chiaramonte Construction Co. and Hess Construction & Engineering Services Inc., is seeking at least $2 million in damages from the design team, a joint venture of Bowie Gridley Architects and Perkins & Will.

The construction firms say they based their guaranteed maximum price on design documents that they contend were "incomplete, uncoordinated and not ready for construction."

The builders assert that they were forced to spend more money than expected to make up for lost time because of the incomplete designs.

The lawsuit comes nearly two years after Ballou students returned to a newly built 356,000-square-foot facility.

Bowie Gridley and Perkins & Will were hired in 2012 to provide design and construction administration services for the project, according to the lawsuit. The architects were to be paid up to $4.5 million in total basic compensation, the suit says. Chiaramonte-Hess was hired to develop the project in 2013, and the builders broke ground in March 2013.

The suit contends that after Chiaramonte-Hess determined its guaranteed maximum price, the architects submitted corrected design documents that significantly altered the project's scope. Chiaramonte-Hess asserts that the changes forced it to take on additional costs for overtime to complete the project on time.

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