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Wichita school district may pay $95,000 to settle suit over groundwater cleanup

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, at 2:30 p.m.
  • Updated Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, at 4:06 p.m.

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The Wichita school district plans to pay $95,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by an Atlanta company over a groundwater cleanup project.

In the lawsuit, filed in September, Golder Associates Inc., claimed a project to clean up groundwater at the School Service Center went over budget and the district refused to pay the difference. The company sought $265,000 plus interest and attorney fees.

The Wichita school board on Monday will consider a plan to pay $95,000 to settle the suit.

Golder, a geotechnical engineering firm, was under contract with the Wichita school district to monitor and clean up groundwater at the School Service Center, 3850 N. Hydraulic. The project, which started in 2010, included construction of an iron wall at the site.

Golder claimed in the lawsuit that the wall was redesigned during the project and other changes were mandated, substantially increasing the cost of materials and raising construction time by 30 percent. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment was involved with the project “and had to approve its parameters,” the lawsuit said.

The school district later denied Golder’s invoice for the cost difference, saying the company had not filed an appropriate change order, the lawsuit said.

The school district and Golder reached the settlement agreement through mediation, district officials said Friday.

“The amount Golder was seeking was excessive for the work performed,” spokeswoman Wendy Johnson said in an e-mailed statement. “The settlement of $95,000 is a reasonable amount to pay for the additional work performed.”

Reach Suzanne Perez Tobias at 316-268-6567 or stobias@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @suzannetobias.

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