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District responds to architect's lawsuit

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District responds to architect's lawsuit
Farmington Minnesota P.O. Box 192 / 312 Oak St. 55024

The Farmington School District on Monday filed its response to a breach of contract lawsuit filed in November by DLR Group, the architect responsible for designing the district's new high school building.

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The filing is a response to a breach of contract suit DLR filed after the district refused to make several payments.

The district's response claims DLR should bear responsibility for several hundred thousand dollars related to change orders -- adjustments made during the construction process to address oversights or other issues. DLR has said its contract with the district exempts it from those costs, but a section near the beginning of the contract puts responsibility for problems with the project on the district "excluding the negligent acts and omissions of the Architect."

The district points to several instances in which it believes DLR was negligent, either as an architect or in its role as a project manager. Among other issues, the district claims the plumbing in the new high school has many similarities to a DLR-designed plumbing system that failed recently at the Scott County Jail; the high school design failed to comply with building, fire, safety, sanitation and handicapped access codes; and DLR made mistakes in bid documents for flooring at the school.

The district also claims DLR spent time making computer drawings of rooms at three buildings to be remodeled this summer despite the fact those rooms would not be part of the remodel and that DLR created a plan for remodeling the current high school that would have cost six times what the district had budgeted yet did not include the data center the district planned to include in the building to replace the district's current data center.

Look for a full version of this story in this week's Independent.

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