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Bronxville Schools Settle $3 million in Lawsuits

The Bronxville School District has accepted a $3 million agreement that will settle multiple lawsuits that have been pending for more than five years.

The settlement will satisfy four lawsuits, one in New York State Supreme Court and three in Federal District Court. The suits stem from a construction project that expanded the school district's single building located on Pondfield Road.

“The settlement puts the district in a stronger position going forward, reducing legal costs and removing the uncertainties of the case with respect to budgeting and finance,” school board president James Hudson said.

Back in 1999, the district began a renovation project that would enlarge the gym and the cafeteria, and several other areas of the building. As the project became mired in significant delays and cost overruns, the original company hired to do the work was fired and payment was stopped.

Liberty Mutual took over the project but the original contrators and several subcontractors sued the district stating they were owed approximately $1.2 million for work that was completed and an additional $530,000 for work related to changes from the original plan.

The original plan for the expansion project was slated to cost $22.3 million and was supposed to be completed by 2001. Instead, work on the project dragged on till 2004 and wound up costing an additional $8.9 million.“Despite the fact that it has been a tortuous journey, I think we came up pretty well,” former school board president John Priesing said during Thursday's board meeting. Priesing pursued the settlement for the district even after leaving the board.

According to the terms of the settlement, the district will pay $3 million to Liberty Mutual. The funds will satisfy the $1.2 million balance due to Picco Construction, one of the contractors. Most of that money has been held in escrow by the district pending the outcome of the dispute. An additional $675,000 will be paid to various third parties. District officials note that approximately $508,846 will come a construction account and an insurance reserve fund that was established by the board in 2006.

What do you think of the settlement? Tell us in comments below or on Facebook.

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