Kimball school gets nearly $700,000 in contractor settlement
KIMBALL -- The Kimball School District was awarded nearly $700,000 from its arbitration with Swift Contractors last week. The district had sued Swift Contractors, of Sioux Falls, for poor construction of the district's new school building in 2004...
KIMBALL -- The Kimball School District was awarded nearly $700,000 from its arbitration with Swift Contractors last week.
The district had sued Swift Contractors, of Sioux Falls, for poor construction of the district's new school building in 2004. The school began showing signs of deterioration in 2006 when the ground below it started settling. Large cracks in several areas of the building were the most prominent problem.
The district was awarded a total settlement of $684,375. The private arbitration took place April 16 to 19 at the Minnehaha County Courthouse in Sioux Falls. Andy Damgaard, of the Janklow Law Firm, represented the district. Retired Judge Gene Paul Kean was the arbitrator.
"The school is pleased we had the opportunity to be heard, and with this verdict, the case is now over," said Sheri Hardman, superintendent of Kimball School District. "It's been a long process for us and we look forward to putting this litigation behind us."
Since filing the lawsuit 3½ years ago, the district has put off repairs on the school. The district has received several opinions from experts about what needs to be repaired but has not had any contractors take a serious look at the damage.
The district's next step is to have the building committee look into what needs to be repaired, how it should be done and how much it will cost, Hardman said.
The school has shown signs of settling on the east side of the building and officials have noticed the same signs recently on the west side, she said.
The money the district receives from the arbitration will go toward fixing the school. Should the repair costs exceed the amount the district received, the building committee will likely recommend how to move forward with payment, she said.
"We haven't had much time to talk about that yet," Hardman said. "We'll have to digest that verdict a little, and then we'll be able to move forward with the talk of fixing the building."