Archive for Thursday, March 3, 2005

District could avoid lawsuit

March 3, 2005

In an effort to avoid a formal lawsuit, members of the Eudora USD 491 Board of Education have been discussing solutions to make things right with Manning Prosser Wilbert Construction.

MPW filed a lawsuit Jan. 24 with Douglas County District Court claiming the school district had neglected to pay more than $200,000 for construction and detailing of Eudora High School, which opened in August 2003.

According to the lawsuit, the school board and MPW entered into a contract in January 2001 naming MPW as construction manager of the project. At the time of the agreement the completion date was set for December 2003.

The lawsuit states that "After awarding the contract to MPW, USD 491 requested that MPW accelerate the completion date, so that the project would be substantially completed by Aug. 18, 2003. After advising USD 491 that accelerating the schedule would increase the cost of the project, including an increase in MPW's labor forces which would increase the amount MPW had originally bid to complete the project, MPW and USD 491 agreed to accelerate the project."

The district owed about $43,000 on an invoice billed in March 2004 and about $67,000 on an invoice billed in June 2004, each for labor and equipment, and another $90,000 for carpentry work. Details of the carpentry work were agreed upon in a second contract between the district and MPW in July 2002.

Although the suit was filed, USD 491 Superintendent Marty Kobza said it had not been processed and the district hadn't been formally served with a lawsuit. He did not comment on if or why the debts hadn't been paid.

"We are in the process of negotiations," Kobza said. "We should have a resolution, I believe, at our next board meeting, and it will depend on what the Board wants to do as far as what that resolution may be."

Kobza said the School Board had been in contact with MPW, and that he was optimistic that the two agencies would resolve the situation without going to court.

"I think we've made headway to an agreeable solution for both parties," he said.

The School Board's next meeting will take place at 7 p.m. March 10 at the district office, 1002 Elm St.

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