A company hired, then fired, by the Atlantic City Board of Education to oversee construction management at its two new schools has sued the district, saying it is still owed almost $200,000 for services rendered.
The district has denied the funds are owed, and has filed a counterclaim stating Hill International of Marlton, Burlington County, breached its contract by providing inadequate services that led to lengthy delays and increased costs to complete the Richmond Avenue School.
The new Pennsylvania Avenue School opened in September, and the Richmond Avenue School opened in January. Both had been scheduled to open in September.
In March, the Board of Education, dissatisfied with the construction progress, terminated the services of Hill International and Cobra Construction at the Richmond Avenue School and replaced them with The T.N. Ward Co., which had managed the Pennsylvania Avenue School project.
In October, Hill filed a complaint in Atlantic County Civil Court in Atlantic City. The company claims it stopped work on March 30, but the school board has failed to pay the company for seven months of construction management services at the Richmond Avenue School from Sept. 1, 2011, to March 30, 2012, and three months of work at the Pennsylvania Avenue School from Jan. 1, 2012, through March 30, 2012. The total amount claimed is $196,711.84.
In its response filed in December, the district denied owning the company any money and said the district paid Hill more than the value of services actually rendered.
In a counterclaim, the district says Hill failed to perform all services expeditiously, provided inaccurate data and recommendations to the school board, and approved and accepted materials such as defective siding, roofing and other components. The claim states Hill’s actions resulted in a substantial increase in costs and a delay in the completion of the Richmond Avenue School.
There is no dollar amount listed with the counterclaim, which states that the investigation is ongoing. Kevin Thornton of the Cooper Levenson law firm in Atlantic City is representing the district and said Friday that he could not discuss pending litigation.
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