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Galax schools settle suit

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Contractor will replace leaky windows at GHS next year, after school system filed lawsuit.

By SHAINA STOCKTON
Staff

Galax City Public Schools has reached a settlement with contractors it sued over leaky windows, and the windows will be replaced next year.
Vannoy Construction and architecture and engineering firm OWPR Inc., after the school system filed a lawsuit due to problems with leaking windows that were installed at Galax High School by subcontractor Bell Windows.
At their Dec. 11 meeting, the city school board learned that a settlement has been reached by all parties regarding the window failure at GHS.
The installation of the windows was part of an $8 million renovation to GHS, which began in 2007. The renovation was to be completed in 2008.
“The efforts of the Galax School Board have been to come to a settlement that gets us what we envisioned when we started construction at Galax High School, which is top-quality windows,” Sturgill said earlier this year. “We’ve had concerns about the performance of our windows, and we’ve been trying to solve the concern for three years.”
The windows, installation, monitoring and investigating of the window problem has cost in excess of $1 million, he said.
The school system had attempted to come to a resolution through mediation, but in April decided to move forward with the lawsuit, filed in Grayson County Circuit Court.
On April 6 in Roanoke, Galax Schools Superintendent Bill Sturgill, Galax School Board Chair Ray Kohl, board member Jim Adams and facilities director Jeff Sharpe met in front of retired judge John O’Brion — who served as mediator — with representatives from OWPR, Vannoy and Bell Windows to come an agreement before going to court. No agreement was reached after a 7-hour discussion.
No details of the settlement were offered, but school officials said work on window replacements will begin on March 1 and is scheduled for completion on Aug. 15.