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The Shawnee News-Star
  • School board takes no action on track lawsuit

  • For the second time in a week, the Shawnee School Board spent time in executive session to discuss issues pertaining to the Jim Thorpe Stadium track lawsuit, but tabled all relating agenda items.
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    For the second time in a week, the Shawnee School Board spent time in executive session to discuss issues pertaining to the Jim Thorpe Stadium track lawsuit, but tabled all relating agenda items.
    The school board entered into an executive session at Tuesday’s regular meeting to discuss “proposed agreement relating to discharge of performance bond obligations between the school district and the American Safety Casualty Insurance Company,” the agenda reads.
    The board also convened in an executive session during a special meeting a week earlier on the same matter but took no action.
    Following Tuesday’s meeting, Superintendent Marc Moore said the district will continue pursuing negotiations with the insurance company, although he said no special meetings are planned at this time.
    The school district has a pending lawsuit against ASI relating to the track issues and that case has been progressing through the civil court system, with the next scheduled court date being a pre-trial conference in May, 2014.
    According to previous reports, the lawsuit, filed in February of 2012, originated from a dispute in 2010 and involves the unfinished Jim Thorpe Stadium.
    The school board had entered into a contract with Homeland General Contractors for construction of a new track facility.
    As reported previously, issues reportedly began to appear with the proposed running track in August 2010. After a failed roll test of recently poured sub-base and asphalt, a subcontractor for Homeland General Contractors refused to work any more on the track, given irregularities and other issues in the track. The sub-contractor further refused to give a warranty to any work they did to the track, due to the cracks and other issues.
    The school board then requested Homeland General Contractors cease work on the track until the cause of the issues could be determined. Further investigation showed the asphalt was cracking due to sub grade fill and irregularities in the elevation of the track.
    The school board entered into negotiations with Homeland General Contactors, however the two parties could not come to an agreement, and in April 2011, the school board told the contractors they were considering declaring them default in their bond.
    For a short period after this, Homeland General Contractors – through their subcontractors – began trying to repair the track. However, more issues were discovered and in August 2011, the school board declared the contractors in default.
    American Safety Casualty Insurance Company (ASI), which insured the bond, began negotiations with the school board. However an agreement still couldn’t be reached and the school board filed a lawsuit for breach of contract in February 2012.
    Since then, negotiations have continued and there have been numerous executive sessions by the school board on the issue.
    Page 2 of 2 - Other agenda items tabled Tuesday night included a contract with an architect firm for services associated with the track facility.
    Watch for updates.
     
     
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