MLSD settles lawsuit over MEAC

The Manchester Local School District voted to accept a settlement the district reached out of court against Wastren Advantage Inc., the construction group that built the Manchester Educational and Activity Center.

MLSD is receiving $11,408.41 for utility charges and also getting a credit of $28,000 the district will not have to pay WAI after it was agreed upon the building was finished 14 days late with a $2,000 credit on each day.

“I’m pleased with it,” MLSD Treasurer Karen Ballengee said. “The best thing to do was negotiate and we did. They did accept responsibility… but the building is built, we’re using it and we’re pleased with it.”

A phone call placed to WAI was not answered.

The school district chose to try to settle with WAI as opposed to taking them to a civil court in an attempt to not run up tax dollars in what could be a lengthy court battle.

“If we went to court it probably wouldn’t settle for over a year,” Ballengee said. “When you go into a lawsuit they’ll claim the plans had problems, which they did, but the judge may consider that beyond their control and then we’d be out. We didn’t want to get into this battle and have it go on for a year and then put all this money just into attorney fees.”

Some members of the MLSD school board were publicly not pleased that the district had to settle the matter, saying the motion to accept the settlement “regrettably” passed.

“This is disheartening and sad,” MLSD board member Rick Foster said.

Business isn’t completely done between MLSD and WAI, though, as the construction company is still fixing minor issues such as faucets within the MEAC, officials said.