There could be a light at the end of the tunnel for the Plano Independent School District (PISD) in its lawsuit with a Dallas-based construction company.
The litigation stems from the allegedly botched construction of the district’s new performing arts center. PISD signaled at its latest Board of Trustees meeting that a proposed settlement offer was in the works.
On March 14, school board members voted unanimously to authorize PISD superintendent Theresa Williams to negotiate and agree to terms with McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. on the district’s behalf. Before voting on the item, trustees met in a closed-door session to hear a proposed settlement, which has yet to be made public.
McCarthy Building Companies sued PISD in Collin County District Court for breach of contract last February, alleging that the district had not paid the company what it had agreed to for construction services on the Robbie & Lynore Robinson Fine Arts Center, which was originally scheduled to open in December 2021, according to Community Impact.
A PISD press release that month stated, “As construction has progressed, the floors in the building show evidence of significant cracking as a result of poor workmanship and/or design that do not meet the aesthetic standards established by Plano ISD.”
The PISD Board of Trustees planned to sue the construction company and went so far as voting to do so, but McCarthy Building Companies filed its complaint first, blaming the cracks on bad designs it received from PISD and seeking more than $11.45 million in damages, according to The Dallas Morning News.
PISD is not the only North Texas school district in legal controversy over construction issues. The Dallas Independent School District (DISD) was the subject of a whistleblower lawsuit that alleged that employees in the district’s procurement department had been illicitly repackaging the pricing for construction projects, resulting in millions of dollars in waste of taxpayer money, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.
The Dallas Express reached out to PISD and asked whether any proposed solution would have the district paying taxpayer money to the plaintiff and what the impact would be on its operating budget. No response was received by press time.
There is currently no scheduled full opening for the 82,200-square-foot facility that has thus far cost district taxpayers $67.5 million, The Dallas Morning News reported.
“The Dallas Independent School District (DISD) was the subject of a whistleblower lawsuit that alleged that employees in the district’s procurement department had been illicitly repackaging the pricing for construction projects, resulting in millions of dollars in waste of taxpayer money….”
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The Dallas City Hall IG Office (Inspector General) hopefully will be effective in catching unethical practices.