City-parish suing architect, general contractor over downtown library debacle
BATON ROUGE - The city-parish filed a suit Friday against the architects and general contractor responsible for designing and building the downtown library.
Work on the project has been halted since April, when two trusses failed, making the building unsafe and forcing the city-parish to bring in jacks to support part of the building.
The lawsuit blames WHLC Architecture, and asks that they be forced to pay all repair costs.
The city-parish also named the architect's partner in the suit, as well as the general contractor and insurance companies.
While the construction company Buquet & LeBlanc Inc. is also named in the suit, the filing says that the evidence so far indicates that the error was the design, not the construction.
Buquet & LeBlanc "performed the construction work as designed," the suit says.
The city-parish says the architects from WHLC Architecture "failed to detect the architectural flaw in its design pertaining to the structural steel and joint bracing's both during its design review, and during its project management of the construction."
The library construction project has been contentious from the beginning. City leaders, library executives and taxpayers have argued against each other over the plan for the project – budgeted at about $19 million.
Read the lawsuit here.