The Nevada Board of Examiners recommended Friday the state settle its construction defects lawsuit over the Lied Library on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus for $2.6 million.
But Public Works Board Manager Dan O'Brien said the state will keep $365,000 now in the project's construction fund and will get back $600,000 from the contractors and subcontractors to pay for repairs to health and life safety problems with the library project.
The settlement lowers the net cost of the settlement to $1.69 million.
The recommendation will go to the Legislative Interim Finance Committee, which will consider the deal at its June 16 meeting. Payment would come from the state's contingency fund.
The Lied Library cost more than $40 million and was occupied by UNLV in 2001. Students have been using the facility since, but there were numerous problems with the construction including leaking roofs, sloping cement floors and electrical problems. The state sued and the contractor, Tibesar Construction, and more than 30 subcontractors countered with more than $10.5 million in claims against the state.
O'Brien told the board consisting of Gov. Kenny Guinn, Secretary of State Dean Heller and Attorney General Brian Sandoval attorneys fees are already about $500,000 and that experts, testing and other costs are approaching $800,000 - a total of $1.3 million.
He and Williams said the cost of taking the case to trial with more than 30 defendants would be astronomical.
Guinn said it appeared to him the settlement was a business decision for the board to consider. Williams said that's exactly what it is.
"To go to trial, $1.2 million is a reasonable estimate," he said. "And if the other side prevails, they may be awarded their attorney fees and costs. With about 30 participants, the cost would be tremendous."
The vote for the settlement was unanimous.
Contact Geoff Dornan at email@example.com or 687-8750.