GRAND FORKS — North Dakota State University plans to pay a construction company to end a lawsuit claiming the school forced the contractor to rush a $29.4 million project, but the amount to be paid out and the terms of the agreement will remain a secret for now.
The State Board of Higher Education voted 6-1 on Tuesday, Dec. 3, to approve a settlement regarding the A. Glenn Hill Center at 1306 Centennial Boulevard, a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) building that opened in January 2016. Once filed, the settlement will close the books on a lawsuit brought almost two years ago by Fargo-based Roers Construction.
Roers, the general contractor for the center, sued NDSU in an attempt to recover $1.3 million, arguing the school forced Roers to incur extra costs to rush the completion of the project by a December 2015 dedication ceremony. Roers also claimed it experienced significant delays due to poor designs, according to court documents.
In a motion to dismiss the suit, attorneys for NDSU and the SBHE argued Roers failed to submit a claim to recover costs by a deadline specified in the contract.
The case is still listed as open in Burleigh County District Court. And during Tuesday's meeting in Grand Forks, SBHE members did not disclose the amount of the settlement or the terms of the agreement.
- NDSU receives record $13.5 million gift for STEM scholarships
"We will review the agreement and determine when release will be authorized under the agreement," said Billie Jo Lorius, a spokeswoman for the North Dakota University System.
The board discussed the suit during a 30-minute closed-door session, citing North Dakota law that allows government officials to privately seek legal consultation for pending litigation. Board member Kathleen Neset was the lone dissenter in the 6-1 vote.