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DISTRICT - UPDATED: Blind Brook Board of Education Commences Multi-Million Dollar Lawsuit against Construction Professionals

On January 19, 2024, The Board of Education of the Blind Brook-Rye Union Free School District filed a lawsuit against Kliment Halsband Architects (KHA), Savin Engineers, P.C., and Niram, Inc. in the Supreme Court of the State of New York County of Westchester.  The action stems from a $44.7 million bond project approved in 2017 relating to renovations at Blind Brook High School, Blind Brook Middle School, and the Bruno M. Ponterio Ridge Street School. 

The eighty-seven-page complaint lays out, in great detail, the myriad breaches of contract and negligent acts and omissions by KHA, Savin, and Niram throughout the project.  The conduct of these professionals directly resulted in delays of over 900 calendar days to project completion and cost overruns that required the District to secure a $6 million supplemental bond offering to complete the project, and contributed to the temporary closure of the elementary school building in the fall of 2021.

“While we remained focused on our vision of creating modern, state-of-the-art school facilities for our students, staff, and families to enjoy, it was unfortunate that achieving that goal created so much undue stress for our community,” stated Dr. Colin Byrne, Superintendent of Schools.   “We don’t undertake this litigation lightly, but we do feel it necessary to address the improper conduct that made the last few years so difficult for all of us.”

Jeffrey Mensch, the current President of the Board of Education, noted, “As this project suffered unacceptable delays and cost overruns, our community rightfully demanded to our Board that those responsible be held accountable.  This litigation will ensure that the construction professionals who wronged this school district by failing to meet their contractual obligations and legal duties of care will finally be held liable for their actions”. 

Former Board of Education President Scott Jaffee added, “Sadly, today’s filing was many years in the making, as past Boards shouldered the weight of the harm to our community caused by the countless misdeeds of the defendant professionals.  But the Board, working alongside our accomplished legal team at Guercio & Guercio, LLP, have carefully preserved a thorough record of these misdeeds, and we’re confident that we will ultimately prevail once all of the facts are made public.”

To learn more, please click here for the filing.