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Contractor Settles With Denver For Leaky Museum Roof

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(credit: CBS)

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DENVER (CBS4) – The new Denver Art Museum building was plagued with a leaky roof that had to be replaced. Now CBS4 has learned the general contractor has settled with the city of Denver for $15 million.

The patrons won’t get wet and legal issues have been resolved, as CBS4 investigator Rick Sallinger found out by obtaining the settlement agreement under the Colorado Open Records Act.

A work of art in itself, the Frederic C. Hamilton Wing designed by world-renowned architect Daniel Libeskind has made the Denver Art Museum into an architectural landmark.

But getting there wasn’t easy. Shortly after it opened, serious flaws were discovered. The roof leaked and the long repair job turned it into a scaffold-covered mess.

“I think that all parties (were) recognizing there was an issue and came together in a very positive way and focused instead on resolving the issues,” Denver Art Museum spokeswoman Andrea Fulton said.

The contractor for the building was Mortenson Construction, and while no blame is assessed, Mortenson has agreed to set up a fund to cover any future repairs, according to Fulton.

“The fund is set aside for if ever improvements have to be made for the Hamilton building,” Fulton said.

Two years ago CBS4 obtained pictures of testing and piles of documents related to the leakage problems and spoke with Mayor John Hickenlooper, the mayor at the time, about his concern.

“When something goes wrong you don’t want to go to court,” Hickenlooper told CBS4. “You want to get it fixed first and then figure out happened.”

Now, after a lengthy mediation, the city is getting its payoff for years of problems.

“The settlement was a collaboration between all the parties; the city builders and designers of the museum who really wanted to see the building in its best form and decided to move forward with the fund to make sure that’s the case,” Fulton said.

Despite Mortenson paying $15 million, the settlement agreement says the city is happy with its work and there is no admission of liability.

The settlement makes reference to “demands” and “threats of a lawsuit,” but the mediation process kept the issue out of court.

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