According to this article in the Star Tribune, the Farmington School District is a deadbeat and the school board is not paying money that is due to the DLR Group, the $100 million high school’s architect.
I’m quite understanding when it comes to the unfortunate situation that school districts face when it comes to finding funding to build new buildings, outfitting students with the tools they need to succeed, and pay staff on an ever decreasing budget. Hell, everyone is feeling the pinch — I get that. What I cannot fathom is a district being months behind on nearly three quarters of a million dollars in owed monies because school board members refuse to abide by a contract.
I would probably side with the school district if they hadn’t been so fucking careless about the entire project ever since the beginning. Between fighting with the city over the location of the school and then defying voters by adding a $3 million gymnasium when residents voted down a $24 million sports addition to the already astronomical cost of the high school.
Yes, the district has a responsibility to the taxpayers to ensure that overages are done in a fiscally responsible manner and that the outside contractors are not screwing the district and taxpayers over. But both sides openly agree that overages have occurred because the school district requested them and while I haven’t read the contract, I can’t imagine that DLR Group would go so far as to say that it clearly states that they aren’t responsible for cost overruns if it did not.
This is truly a sad state of affairs for everyone involved, especially the students of the Farmington School District. It will be them that will have to suffer with the possibility of a high school that isn’t completed or possibly even open if the school district doesn’t resolve its problems. The taxpayers will not only have the burden of the $100 million high school on their shoulders but now any legal costs that may be associated with the current fight.
Are you a Farmington resident? Do you believe that the school district is justified or are they just trying to delay the inevitable?