Mediation in lawsuit between Preston BOE and builders of West Preston School fails

KINGWOOD — The first efforts to mediate a settlement between the Preston County Board of Education and the builders of West Preston School have failed.

In January 2017, the board sued Capitol Valley Contracting Inc., of Elkview; Architectural Vision Group Ltd.,  of Cleveland; Lewis Land Profession Inc., of Wadsworth, Ohio; and Great American Insurance Co., of Cincinnati, alleging the new school wasn’t built properly.

It later added GPD Group and Ebersole Structural Engineers Ltd., of Akron, Ohio, to the suit. GPD had acquired Ebersole, which is dissolved.

Earlier this year, Preston Circuit Judge Lawrance Miller Jr. ordered the parties to engage in mediation.

Last week a letter from mediator Donald B. O’Dell was added to  the case file.

“On May 10, 2018, an initial mediation session was conducted. The parties negotiated openly about this case,” O’Dell wrote. “Unfortunately, these negotiations and discussions resulted in minimal progress toward settlement. The mediation was ultimately recessed, with an agreement among the parties to reconvene a second session in the August timeframe.”

Several hearings have already been held in the civil suit, and deadlines have been set by the court for attorneys to provide lists of witnesses and exhibits, file motions and enter other information into the case.

A pretrial conference is set for Dec. 7 before Preston Judge Steve Shaffer.Medi

The board seeks “recovery of damages related to deficient site work, breach of contract, professional negligence, bad faith and negligence surrounding the design, construction and contract administration during the construction of improvements and additions to the West Preston Middle School and Valley Elementary. … ”

The suit claims AVG was negligent in its design of the foundation and Capitol Valley failed to perform site work in accordance with project, “drawings, plans and specifications,” despite repeated demands.

As a result, other contractors had to correct the work, the suit alleges.

All those being sued deny wrongdoing.

West Preston was built with funds from the 2010 construction bond passed by Preston County taxpayers. Construction delays and cost overruns ran the final cost to more than $14.9 million. It opened to students in the fall of 2016.

Previous ArticleNext Article