Following the construction of Ransom Everglades School — a three-story, 45,000-square-foot STEM learning college preparatory school — at least five contractors are still seeking a combined $2 million for their work, according to the Miami-Dade County clerk’s office.
As of December 7, 2020, four subcontractors and the project’s general contractor, Shawmut Design & Construction, have placed the unpaid construction work claims — known as mechanics liens — against the state-of-the-art STEM building, which officially opened its doors on September 29.
When active, a mechanics lien serves as a debt recovery tool for unpaid contractors by encumbering a property title, which can prevent the property owner from refinancing or selling. Until the contractor’s debt is satisfied, the lien claim generally cannot be lifted.
All five unpaid construction work claims were filed pursuant to Florida mechanics lien statutes.
While Shawmut Design & Construction is allegedly owed $1.8 million for their general contracting duties pursuant to a contract with the property owner — Ransom Everglades School, Inc. — the GC is now facing at least two mechanics lien claims worth a combined $227,854.30 from two subcontractors that serviced the STEM center.
The Shawmut Design & Construction project executive who filed the claim back in October of 2020 has yet to respond to a request for comment.
A representative behind the school’s STEM facility construction project has yet to be reached. A communications spokeswoman from Ransom Everglades School was reached in December of 2020 during the private school’s holiday closure, but could not address the unpaid construction work disputes at that time.
“I have my attorney handling [the mechanics lien claim],” an accounts receivable representative from claimant subcontractor Electrical Supplies, Inc. said in December of 2020 after placing their $14,000 claim against the STEM facility six months prior in June.
The representative would not comment further on the ongoing payment dispute with a fellow subcontractor that serviced the project.
Representatives from the remaining three claimant subcontractors could not be reached.
$2M in liens filed by five contractors at the Ransom Everglades School
The five claimant contractors are allegedly owed a combined $2,008,003.02 in unpaid work following the construction of a STEM facility at the Ransom Everglades School, located roughly five miles south of downtown Miami at 3575 Main Hwy, Miami, FL.
General contractor Shawmut Design & Construction placed the largest lien claim against the property on October 23, 2020, alleging they are still owed $1,839,538.65 in unpaid construction work.
According to the GC’s lien affidavit, the project first broke ground in August of 2018, and was last serviced on July 31, 2020. The lien affidavit also states Shawmut’s contract with the school was worth $18.1 million.
Several weeks prior to Shawmut’s lien filing, subcontractor JGR Construction filed a lien valued at $140,127.30 pursuant to a contract with the GC on October 2. The subcontractor’s contract was reportedly valued at just under $2 million, according to the lien affidavit.
JGR Construction furnished sitework at the project between March of 2019 and September of 2020.
To date, the most recent unpaid work claim was filed on December 7 by subcontractor PaintPros, Inc., which argues the GC still owes them $11,727 for their painting services at the STEM facility.
In June of 2020, two lien claims against project subcontractor E-Tech Electric were filed just a day apart from one another: On June 3, Electrical Supplies, Inc. placed a lien claim worth $14,045.07 against the property on June 3, and subcontractor George’s Crane Service filed their $2,500 lien claim on June 4.
Ransom Everglades: A 45,000 sqft indoor-outdoor STEM learning center
According to Shawmut Design & Construction’s project page for the STEM learning center at Ransom Everglades School, the indoor-outdoor facility will house at least 10 new classrooms with “movable walls and furniture.”
STEM is a common abbreviation for areas of study that include science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Other features of the building include a rooftop laboratory, a reconfigurable 200-person auditorium, and solar PVs lined along the facility’s roof.