Brookfield Local School District and the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, partners in the construction of the Brookfield school building, have added the building’s architect to a suit over building deficiencies.
Also, a judge has refused to remove OFCC from the action.
The initial suit filed Sept. 25 alleged Timmerman Geotechnical Inc., which studied the ground on which the school was built and investigated the heaving issues that has damaged the middle school since then, breached its contract, its expressed and implied warranties and standard of care.
promoTimmerman has denied the allegations and tried to have OFCC removed, arguing it had a contract with the school but not OFCC. In a one-page order filed Jan. 14, Trumbull County Common Pleas Court Judge Andrew D. Logan said the motion is “not well taken and is denied.”
The new part to the suit is Balog Steines Hendricks and Manchester Architects Inc. The district said it did not initially sue the firm, because the sides were negotiating to resolve their differences. The talks failed, the district said.
In its investigation of the ground on which the school is built, Timmerman discovered that shale was present and acknowledged that weathered shale might “soften” when exposed to water, the plaintiffs said. Timmerman “did not provide recommendations for dealing with the expansive materials at the project site,” and BSHM did not “design the project with components that would resist the expansion of the subsurface materials,” the plaintiffs said.
The plaintiffs allege that shale is moving under the middle school, pushing up the floor and cracking walls.
The plaintiffs charge BSHM with breach of contract and breach of standard of care.
BSHM had not filed its answer to the suit.