Fayette County

Library board sues three contractors

The Lexington Public Library Board is suing three contractors who worked on the construction of the Tates Creek branch.

The lawsuit, filed last month in Fayette Circuit Court, says the library's concrete slab and interior walls have settled, or shifted, causing cracks. The lawsuit also alleges that exterior walls have cracked.

The lawsuit was filed against the project's general contractor, D.W. Wilburn, Inc.; the architectural firm Brandstetter/Carroll, Inc.; and an engineering firm that wrote a geotechnical report, MACTEC Engineering and Consulting, Inc.

The library, located on Walden Road, opened in March 2001 at a cost of $3.9 million.

Board chairman Burgess Carey said architects have assured the board that the building is safe. He declined to comment further until he could consult with board lawyers.

The lawsuit claims MACTEC failed to follow its geotechnical report, which examined the site's fill materials and made recommendations for treating potential subsoil problems.

The board alleges that Wilburn failed to completely excavate and remove all improper fill, improperly installed artificial fill and failed to comply with the geotechnical report.

Officials with MACTEC and Wilburn could not be reached for comment.

The lawsuit accuses Brandstetter/Carroll of writing vague construction documents, failing to reject work that did not comply with construction documents and failing to adequately review the sufficiency of geotechnical testing.

"We have been working with the library board for several years in an attempt to solve the problem," architect Lawrence Brandstetter said. "To my knowledge, no professional expert has come forward to say that we've breached any professional standard of care. However, in 30 years of professional practice, we have not had a judgment against our firm."