HUFFMAN – The local school district entered a contract to have its new elementary school finished this past July. As the project stands today with half a school year gone by, an incomplete building with what the administration believes are serious construction defects is all Huffman ISD finds for the contract.
The public first became aware of the controversy and issues when contractors complained that they were owed over $4,000,000 for the contract work. A lawsuit has now been joined and District indicated it was disappointed that Paradigm chose this step, and the District disputes the allegations contained in the lawsuit.
Like many small districts, Huffman ISD hired an owner’s representative with construction expertise to protect the school district on building projects. The job of actually building Falcon Ridge Elementary School was given to the contractor, Paradigm. Huffman ISD intends to hold Paradigm to the contract the parties entered.
In late January 2018, many months after Hurricane Harvey, Paradigm made a written request for a weather delay of about one week, less than four days of which were attributed to the hurricane. While Paradigm was allowed to claim numerous rain delays throughout the project as set forth in the contract, the District declined this request in keeping with the advice of the project architect. The request was not made in a timely manner in accordance with the contract.
More importantly, Huffman ISD believes that the July 2018 completion date could still be met by Paradigm properly managing and staffing the project and that Harvey related weather delays during the early stage of the project were not cause for pushing back the school’s opening.
“It is clear now that Paradigm would not have finished on time even with the requested weather delay. In truth, the project was not even close to being finished by the contractual completion date. More than just having an incomplete building, the District believes it now must remediate significant construction defects unrelated to the project’s schedule,” said Shirley Dupree of Huffman ISD.
The District is still in the process of investigating the nature and extent of the problems, but they are working hard every day to minimize any issues that may be impacting the school’s programs. We appreciate the dedication of the school’s staff and teachers as they strive to make the school year as seamless as possible for students and parents. The District is especially committed to ensuring that the school offers a safe and healthy environment for students and employees.
Huffman ISD insists it will never take shortcuts on student safety. Wherever safety concerns have arisen, they have responded quickly. It may take some time, but the District is intent on completing the project and giving the Huffman community the state-of-the-art facility we promised.