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Lawsuit bogs down schools overhaul 

A lawsuit was filed last week against the group charged with overseeing a massive upgrade of buildings in the Rochester City School District. The suit names the Rochester Joint Schools Construction Board and each member of the board individually, except for Brian Sanvidge, who is a nonvoting member.

The lawsuit was filed by Rochester Careers in Construction, a nonprofit involved in apprenticeship programs, over the board's recent 4-3 decision to reject a project labor agreement for the second phase of upgrades.

Board members who voted to reject the agreement say that there are questions about RCCI's ability to produce apprentices for the project, particularly people of color and women. But board members on the other side say that the first phase met and-or exceeded hiring goals for both groups.

There are accusations of politics on both sides, and the disagreement will likely cause delays in the $1.3 billion project.

State Senator Joe Robach has written to the board, asking members to reconsider their decision on the PLA. The actions of the board will negatively impact city school students and the labor community, he says.

"Unfortunately, because of your decision, our city's children will lose out and our local workforce will be hurt," Robach says.

The first court hearing in the case is on September 7.


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