Freestone center architects settle with Gilbert - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Freestone center architects settle with Gilbert

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Posted: Thursday, May 13, 2004 9:49 am | Updated: 5:03 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

The Freestone Recreation Center architects will pay Gilbert $31,486 to settle 18 design flaw claims, the latest action involving a facility plagued by cost overruns, a leaking roof and a lawsuit.

The settlement agreement approved by the Town Council late Tuesday also requires Gilbert to pay IEF Group, now known as Breckenridge Group, $7,592 to settle two outstanding invoices.

The agreement left open the possibility that Gilbert could seek damages from either the architect or contractor because of the facility’s leaking roof.

Gilbert attorney Susan Goodwin said a town consultant issued an opinion that the leaking roof is the fault of the builder. Goodwin said the agreement pertains to the design flaws known today and does not prevent future action against either the architect or builder.

The answer satisfied Councilman Don Skousen, who said: "I don’t want to let (anyone) off the hook."

Phone calls to architect Breckenridge Group and builder Howard S. Wright Construction Co. were not returned.

Included in the design deficiencies were flaws in the exterior masonry, air transfer duct, sound system and ceiling fans.

The $6.8 million facility is nearly $500,000 over budget because of seven councilapproved change orders.

A leaking roof has been a problem at the center since it opened in November 2002 at 1141 E. Guadalupe Road, but those repair costs have been covered by warranty. Gilbert parks and recreation director Maury Ahlman said the contractor responded to a leak four to six weeks ago after the last major storm.

In January, the parents of a 12-year-old boy who fell from the facility’s rock climbing wall last year filed a lawsuit claiming the town failed to supervise the climbing activities and caused an unreasonably dangerous condition.

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