PARIS – A Portland-based construction company has filed suit against SAD 72 for money it says is owed for New Suncook School renovations.

Both sides say they are hoping to resolve the matter out of court.

The suit, filed last week by Hardypond Construction, says the district owes it $184,603 for improvements made at the New Suncook School on Route 5 in Lovell. Hardypond charges the district, among other things, with breach of contract and violation of Maine’s Prompt Payment Law. The suit also places a mechanic’s lien on the school.

“We are optimistic that we can resolve this soon,” Superintendent Gary McDonald said.

He said work at the school is still going on and has cost $1,371,803 to date. The aim of the renovations has been to redesign the roof and replace heaters that had been in the building since it was constructed in 1971.

McDonald said Hardypond Construction is the general contractor for the project.

A. Robert Ruesch, attorney for the company, said the suit was filed to enforce the mechanic’s lien, which is already on the school. The lien allows an entity that has provided construction work or materials to ultimately look to the sale of the property as a source of payment.

However, Ruesch said that route is rare in mechanic’s lien cases.

“We’re a long, long way from ever doing that,” Ruesch said. “It’s very unlikely we’ll ever reach that state of things in any lien case.”

Ruesch also expressed optimism for resolving the matter without further litigation.

The New Suncook School serves approximately 194 children attending kindergarten through the fifth grade. SAD 72 serves the towns of Fryeburg, Lovell, Denmark, Sweden, Brownfield, Stoneham and Stow.

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