Mockup of the exterior of Somerset Parkland Academy

The construction of a two-story, 98,000-square-foot charter school in Parkland, Florida has resulted in four contractors still seeking just over $2 million in unpaid construction work claims.

These construction claims, also known as mechanics liens, remain unreleased nearly three months after the project was completed in September of 2020, according to the Broward County clerk’s office. 

Somerset Parkland Academy — a K-8 tuition-free charter school — is currently subject to five active unpaid construction work claims from three subcontractors and the project’s general contractor, P&T Construction (d/b/a School Property Development), which is currently faced with four unpaid construction work claims at the property totaling $640,821.04 owed to three subcontractors. 

Five released construction claims also named P&T Construction from the Somerset Parkland Academy project. These claims were satisfied between July and August of 2020.  

A mechanics lien provides unpaid contractors with a security interest in the serviced property until they have received payment for their work. If a lien is filed against a property, the owner is hindered from being able to sell or refinance until the contractor’s debt has been settled. 

Florida’s mechanics lien statutes state claimants have one year from the date of their filing to foreclose on a mechanics lien — resulting in a lawsuit filing, which could possibly force the defendant to sell off their property in order to satisfy the contractor’s unpaid work claim. 

As of December 31, 2020, all four claimant contractors are well within their rights to enforce their lien claims.

Five active unpaid work claims worth $2.15M filed at Somerset Parkland Academy 

The five active and unpaid for lien claims total from $2,153,370.82 four contractors that constructed the Somerset Parkland Academy, located at 8401 N. University Drive, Parkland, FL. 

General contractor P&T Construction filed the largest active unpaid work claim against the property on December 16, 2020, totaling $1,512,549.78. The GC’s lien claim was filed against the property owner — Parkland School Property, LLC — pursuant to a contract that was worth $16.6 million. 

According to P&T Construction’s lien affidavit, construction at Somerset Parkland Academy lasted between October 2019 and September 2020. 

P&T Construction was also faced with six unpaid construction work claims — more commonly known as mechanics liens — worth $1.3 million as of August of 2020 following the construction of the 42,000-square-foot Pinecrest Academy Space Coast charter school in Viera, Florida. 

The four remaining active lien claims against Somerset Parkland Academy have all been filed by subcontractors against P&T Construction, with Comet Electric & Equipment the largest claim at $325,328.84 on November 10, 2020. 

Comet Electric & Equipment’s lien affidavit states their contract with P&T Construction was worth just over $1 million, and they served the project between November 2019 and September 2020. 

On December 7, 2020, Pinnacle Plumbing filed the second-largest lien against P&T Construction, valued at $250,854 after agreeing to a contract worth $385,000. 

Subcontractor Palm Beach Glass Specialties filed the remaining two liens with two separate claims worth a combined $64,638.20. The two liens were filed 10 days apart, with the latest placed on December 14, 2020. 

Advanced security precautions constructed at Somerset Parkland Academy 

The charter school in Parkland is located just three miles from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the site of a deadly mass shooting in 2017. 

Construction of the Somerset Parkland Academy included increased security precautions — the South Florida Sun Sentinal reported in early 2020 that “The new school has been described as a ‘fortress’ due to its high-tech security features, which the school worked with a security consultant and a Parkland parent group to develop.”

A 6-foot fence surrounds the entire property, and an 8-foot non-scalable fence surrounds the school building. 

Additional high-security features include security cameras mounted throughout the school, a controlled gate that monitors license plates entering the school, concrete interior walls, steel pipes to prevent cars from driving into the school, and bullet-resistant glass and doors.