A dispute with a contractor has delayed this fall's opening of two major new buildings at Palo Alto High School -- a two-story classroom building for math and social studies and the school's new Media Arts Center, school officials said.
Taisei Construction Corporation continues work on the buildings -- most recently telling the school it will complete the work by December -- but the firm has filed suit in Santa Clara County Superior Court over $1.65 million in disputed costs.
Taisei says the Palo Alto school district owes the money because of authorized change-order requests.
In its court complaint filed June 21, the company said the change orders were due to "unbuildable design elements within the plans and specifications which caused Taisei and the subcontractors to slow or stop construction activities, and in several cases remove and replace completed work elements so that buildable follow-on work could be completed."
Palo Alto school officials said they were never served with the complaint and tracked down the lawsuit themselves when checking court records after hearing Taisei had filed similar litigation elsewhere. The district announced the lawsuit July 18.
Earlier mediation over the claim was unsuccessful but work continues on the two Paly buildings, district officials said.
"They're required by law to continue work, and they're still obligated to complete the terms of the contract," said Tom Hodges of fs3Hodges, who is under contract with the school district to manage construction.