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Fixes had been made before anyone moved in last fall

CHAMPAIGN — The developer of the Octave Apartments student housing complex in Campustown is suing one of its contractors for allegedly not paying the $1.6 million it cost to fix issues that compromised the structural integrity of the buildings.

Rhode Island-based Gilbane Development Company LLC filed the federal lawsuit Wednesday against Texas-based Humphreys & Partners Architects L.P. and said the fixes had been made before any students moved in.

“The building is and has been structurally sound since opening and at no point in time were residents exposed to any structural deficiencies,” Gilbane spokesman Wes Cotter said in a statement. “Since this is an ongoing legal matter, we will not be able to provide further information.”

Humphreys & Partners Architects did not respond to a request for comment, but according to the lawsuit, it is blaming one of its subcontractors.

The 538-bed complex at 210 S. Fourth St., C, on the site of the old Marquette School opened last fall.

“The Project suffered significant delays and the structures required substantial remediation due to faulty structural engineering by HPA, or one of its subconsultants,” the suit said. “Specifically, the Project required remediation due to the use of undersized structural components, as well as the failure to use required structural components. These serious failures compromised the structural integrity of the buildings in the complex.”

Humphreys & Partners or one of its subcontractors allegedly tried to fix the problem, but “designed repairs that initially exacerbated the underlying structural problems,” the suit says.

Gilbane said the repairs cost $1,667,405 and tried to make Humphreys & Partners pay for allegedly providing “negligent structural engineering services.”

According to the lawsuit, Humphreys & Partners blamed the problem on its subcontractor.

“Even if this were true, the indemnification provision in the Agreement holds HPA responsible for the negligent acts of its subconsultants,” the lawsuit states.

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