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Millions for Belmont Developers Upheld

July 31, 2001|From Times Staff Reports

A judge has affirmed an arbitrator's award requiring the Los Angeles Unified School District to pay nearly $17 million to the developers of the unfinished Belmont Learning Complex.

Superior Court Judge Ann Kough on Friday rejected the school district's petition to overturn the June 8 award of $13.5 million in damages plus attorney fees and arbitration costs. The award is to go to the project principals and 49 subcontractors who said they were not paid for their work.

Kough ruled that the arbitrator followed the law and the district waived any challenge by paying the project's architectural fees.

Even while appealing the award, the district paid architect McLarand Vasquez & Partners so that it could obtain plans for the $200-million high school. The board voted in January 2000 to abandon the project, but has changed course and is seeking proposals to complete it or take it off the district's hands. The plans were needed as part of the bidding process.

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