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Los Angeles Community College District to part ways with contractor and management firm linked to troubled rebuilding program

Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Community College District is moving to fire an Irvine contractor accused of shoddy workmanship and fraud in the construction of a Valley College classroom complex that became a symbol of problems with the district's $5.7-billion campus rebuilding program.

In a letter released Tuesday, the district launched proceedings to bar the contractor, FTR International, from campus work for up to five years. The district cited "substandard work" by FTR on its $48-million contract to build the Allied Health and Science complex at Valley College. The district also said FTR filed a "false and fraudulent" report on the project with the state architect, which oversees school safety.

The troubled history of the Allied Health project was detailed as part of a Los Angeles Times series early this year. When the complex opened in August 2008, students and faculty found numerous construction problems, including missing exit signs and fire extinguishers and hanging light fixtures that were not securely attached to ceilings.

More than three years later, the district is preparing to make extensive repairs.

In another letter released Tuesday, the district also took action to fire a construction management company owned by Art Gastelum, a politically influential contractor.
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