Education

Horry County Schools, contractor face new lawsuit over school construction

Myrtle Beach Middle School is the latest construction project completed by Horry County Schools. Over the course of the next several years, three new school buildings could join it to address needs related to growth in the local area.
Myrtle Beach Middle School is the latest construction project completed by Horry County Schools. Over the course of the next several years, three new school buildings could join it to address needs related to growth in the local area. jlee@thesunnews.com

A Lake City-based construction company sued Horry County Schools and other contractors for allegedly failing to fully pay for work on four new Horry County schools.

According to the lawsuit, F&B Mechanical claims it supplied “labor, materials and equipment” in the construction of the new schools — St. James Intermediate, Socastee Elementary, Myrtle Beach Middle and Socastee Middle. The total cost of the projects was $260,274, but the company says it only has been paid $69,670.

F&B Mechanical is suing the school district and five companies — Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America, First Floor Energy Positive, Integrated Contracting Group, Metcon Inc., and TA Loving Inc. — to collect the alleged $190,604 debt.

The lawsuit states the company agreed around March 13 to provide mechanical pipe installation for school district projects — including labor and materials — on a “time and materials” basis. In addition, it claims an agreement was made to install “kitchen duct work and fabricate brackets for all schools.”

The work is said to have started March 20 with a completion date of July 20. Students and faculty have since moved into each of the school facilities, the last of them coming this past January.

“The defendants have received the full value and consideration of said labor and materials furnished by plaintiff to defendants,” the lawsuit states.

On at least three occasions in the months following, F&B Mechanical claims it asked to be paid. It also claims the parties broke a surety agreement, and failure to provide reasoning for why full payment has not occurred.

Horry County Schools did not respond to a request for comment.

It is the second lawsuit filed against HCS and First Floor in the past year. In September, the two entities were hit with multiple lawsuits asking for more than $778,000 after a subcontractor allegedly didn’t pay its supplier, court filings state.

Capital Materials of Savannah filed five complaints against Hester Drywall claiming it had not fully paid Capital for “labor, material and/or equipment” supplied for work on Ten Oaks Middle, St. James Intermediate, Socastee Elementary, Socastee Middle and Myrtle Beach Middle schools.

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