The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission, Brookfield Local School District’s partner in the building of the school complex, has approved a settlement that ends years of litigation over the heaving foundation at the middle school.
Brookfield Board of Education approved the settlement March 15, and OFCC followed suit April 20.
The settlement means Timmerman Geotechnical Group, which was hired to examine conditions of the soil where the school was built and prior to a failed 2013 attempted fix, will pay $550,000, and building architect Balog Steins Hendricks and Manchester Architects will pay $900,000.
Of the proceeds, OFCC will get 64 percent, $924,800, and the district will get 36 percent, $530,200. Those percentages reflect what each side contributed to construction costs when the school was built. As of April 27, the school had not received the money, said Treasurer Jordan Weber.
The settlement was reached just prior to trial in March.
The money will be used to fund an ongoing project to fix the middle school, which has seen floors lift and walls crack in the central section of the building.
Schirmer Construction has been working outside of the school building and in the middle school restroom. Starting May 22, it will work in the hallway and affected classrooms. For the last nine days of school, middle school students are working from home.
School Supt. Toby Gibson said the contractor will remove the floors and dig down about three feet, removing shale – which has expanded, causing the heaving – seal the remaining in-ground material with a tar-like substance and cover it with plastic.
The hole will be filled with about two feet of cement, and then another foot of concrete, he said.
In a related matter, the school and OFCC conducted air quality testing of the middle school that turned up nothing unusual, Gibson said April 12.
Gibson said he had talked with OFCC representatives after middle school Principal Craig Boles questioned whether the construction at the middle school was having any adverse health effects on students and staff. The sides agreed to conduct air quality testing, Gibson said.