Subcontractor For BOCES Jesse J. Kaplan School Pool Complex Files Lawsuit Against Insurance Company For Payment

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Modular Space LLC (ModSpace), A Berwyn, Pa Company, Suing QBE Insurance Corp. For $1.6 million

By Tina Traster

Not everything has gone swimmingly for the sub-contractor who helped build the Jesse J. Kaplan School Pool Complex at Rockland BOCES on Parrott Road in West Nyack.

Subcontractor Modular Space LLC (ModSpace), a Berwyn, Pa company, is suing QBE Insurance Corp. for $1.6 million for payment under a construction bond between the general contractor, ML Inc., of Passaic, NJ and BOCES.

ModSpace alleges the company has not been paid for the bulk of its work; it is suing the insurance company for the balance due.

The company agreed to furnish labor, materials and equipment for modular units for two swimming pools for $1.9 million. During the course of the project, change orders reduced the cost by $71,000.

To date, ModSpace has been paid $283,000, according to the suit.

The suit, filed in Rockland County Supreme Court this week, alleges several demands have been made for payment without avail. ModSpace claims it is “not in breach of the contract” and is trying to collect the $1.6 million it says it is owed.

ModSpace is suing the insurance company, rather than ML Inc. A ML spokesman says ModSpace’s work was subpar and the company did not deliver on pre-fabricated construction materials. He said the company instead completed the work on site.

Attorney Michael Schollaert, representing ModSpace, did not return calls seeking comment.

Modular Space Corporation designs, builds, and markets temporary and permanent modular building including mobile storage, offices, complexes, and classrooms.

On Dec. 3rd 2020, ModSpace submitted a claim to QBE under the bond for the unpaid but earned subcontract balance of $1,631,510. At least 90 days have elapsed since ModSpace last performed work for which its claim was made.  The project was completed and accepted by Rockland BOCES less than a year ago.

QBE is obligated under the bond, the suit claims, for subcontract work for which ML has failed to make payment.

In 2017, Rockland County residents approved the construction of the $3.9 million new adaptive pool complex, at the Rockland BOCES Jesse J. Kaplan School, designed by Michael Shilale Architects, LLP. The high-tech, indoor therapy and fitness pools are designed to improve mobility, improve confidence, increase health and wellness, and teach children with special needs to be safe in the water.

The new complex replaced Kaplan’s existing 40-year-old indoor swimming pool. The project upgraded the deteriorating instructional swimming pool, added a therapeutic pool and a building enclosing the pool and hallways and corridors leading to the aquatic center.

“This lawsuit is a spat between ML and ModSpace,” said BOCES spokesman Scott Salotto. “This has nothing to do with BOCES.”

The construction project was funded by BOCES and did not impact taxpayers. The necessary funds had been set aside for the new pool facility. BOCES authorized its board to undertake the capital improvement project from its general fund,

Voters overwhelmingly approved the 8,200 square foot aquatics center. The school offers a learning environment for students between five to 21 years old with autism, cognitive disabilities, medical fragility, and other disabilities from all eight school districts in Rockland County.