Months after Palo Alto ended its feud with the contractor responsible for the delayed reconstruction of the Mitchell Park Library and Community Center, the city has reached a separate settlement with the management firm that was tasked with overseeing that contractor.
City officials announced Thursday that they have reached a settlement with Turner Construction, the firm that was hired to manage the voter-approved construction of the city's largest library branch. The Mitchell Park Library and Community Center opened late last year after more than two years of delays and dozens of construction defects.
The main contractor hired for the project, Flintco Pacific, was fired by the city in January 2014, leading to claims and counterclaims by each side against the other. While the city accused Flintco of substandard quality, insufficient work crews, and an excessive number of change orders, Flintco has argued that the city's design specifications were flawed and that Palo Alto breached its contract in refusing to honor the change orders.
The two sides reached a settlement in December, which call for the city releasing the roughly $4 million in the contract balance that has been withheld from Flintco since March. Flintco committed to pay the more than $2 million owed to Big D, the replacement contractor that the city hired to complete the project after Flintco's termination. The city also recovered about $700,000 from Flintco, including a waiver of about $150,000 in change orders.
On Thursday, the city announced that it completed a settlement with Turner, which was hired in 2009 and which had managed both Fintco and Big D. Under the settlement, the city will retain about $425,000 of the $850,000 that was set aside to pay Turner for overseeing the completion of the roughly $45-million project.
"The settlement agreement with Turner finalizes and completes all of the legal issues with the construction of the Mitchell Park Library and Community Center," the city's announcement stated.
Located at 3700 Middlefield Road, the Mitchell Park Library and Community Center is the city's largest branch and the biggest component of the $76 million library bond that the voters passed in 2008.