Board approves settlement agreement

Board approves settlement with subcontractor for high school project
Posted on 01/22/2021
Front of Anacortes High School

The Anacortes School Board approved a settlement agreement with FORMA construction and Sturgeon Electric Company on Thursday, January 21, marking final steps toward completion of the high school construction project. The classroom wing opened to students in September, 2018, and the campus was completed in February, 2020. 

The district has agreed to pay $650,000 out of a $1,753,781 settlement agreement, arising from a dispute in which Sturgeon originally claimed over $3 million in unanticipated costs due to project delays. FORMA has agreed to pay the balance of the settlement agreement. 

The district previously updated the community on the progress of the project and the subcontractor’s claim in June, 2020. Since that time, the district has been working toward resolution with all parties. 

“Our district team successfully negotiated an agreement with FORMA and Sturgeon at the lowest net cost to the district,” said Superintendent Justin Irish. “In a project of this magnitude, these situations are sometimes inevitable, and I am proud of the work our team has done to come to a successful resolution.” 

The $93 million high school construction project includes a voter-approved $87 million bond, state matching funds, and community donations. The final project includes a state-of-the art classroom wing, career and technical education spaces, a new Cap Sante High School building, a renovated Brodniak Auditorium, new Seahawk Stadium, and Veterans Memorial Plaza. 

The district took measures throughout the high school project to mitigate risk, including a significant contingency, on-site presence with district representatives, and carefully vetted change orders. Unfortunately, the project faced unexpected challenges, including weather delays, asbestos removal, and discrepancies between original “as-built” drawings and actual conditions. In one case, an estimated 300 tons of concrete from a previous school foundation in the 1940s had to be demolished and removed from directly under the school site. 

The district will seek some recovery of the settlement amount through its builder’s insurance policy. The district is obtaining financing for the remaining balance. 


“Despite many unforeseen challenges on this project, this is an investment our community can be proud of,” said Board President Bobbilyn Hogge. “It will serve generations of students and our community for decades to come.” 

The district plans to hold a community open house celebration to tour the campus once coronavirus restrictions are lifted and it is safe to do so. 

Media contact: 

Dr. Justin Irish, Superintendent

(360) 503-1200 

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