Community College Construction Watchdog Collected Fees From Company it Was Overseeing

The Los Angeles Community College District has contracted with Gateway Science & Engineering to supervise a $450 million rebuilding of Mission College in Sylmar, paying the company to monitor construction quality, keep contractors on schedule and review all bills and payments.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Gateway has collected consulting fees from one of the main contractors it was overseeing on the campus, FTR International of Irvine. Under a contract, FTR is to pay $3 million to Gateway (about $300,000 has been paid so far).

The Times writes: "At the time, FTR was building a 90,000-square-foot fitness center at Mission, a project beset by delays, cost increases and alleged lapses in workmanship, district records show. While receiving the consulting fees beginning in 2009, Gateway approved $3.4 million in district payments to FTR over the objections of architects and engineers who said the construction firm was billing for more work than it had done on the fitness center, according to documents obtained under the California Public Records Act." (Source: Los Angeles Times, January 21.)

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