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Home / The ArtCenter College of Design

Pasadena specialty school sues contractors over hillside fire

The ArtCenter College of Design is suing a general contractor and a subcontractor company for allegedly causing a fire near campus in 2021 that resulted in landscape damage and the temporary shutdown of the campus.

The Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit was brought Thursday by the Pasadena-based school against Halstead Construction Inc. and Platinum Drywall Corp., alleging breach of contract and negligence. The suit seeks unspecified damages.

A Halsted representative did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

The ArtCenter and Halsted agreed in March 2021 for the contractor to renovate the Ahmanson Auditorium on the campus grounds, according to the suit, which further states the school believes Halsted subsequently entered a subcontracting agreement with Platinum Drywall.

During the course of the work, the two companies allegedly caused a fire on the hillside next to the Lida Street school on June 17, 2021, causing extensive damage to the landscape and irrigation system as well as forcing the school to temporarily close, according to the suit.

“Although the Art Center has repeatedly demanded that defendants remedy the damages that they caused, (they) … have failed and refused to do so and have committed additional breaches, resulting in further damage to the ArtCenter,” the suit states.

Photographer/environmentalist Ansel Adams is a former member of the ArtCenter faculty and director Michael Bay is a past student.

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