News center
Deep expertise in sales and manufacturing strategies

Exeter sues Harvey Construction over middle school project

Aug 17, 2023

STRATHAM — The Exeter Regional Cooperative School District has filed a lawsuit against Harvey Construction Corporation, claiming the company failed to properly repair the damage it caused to the Cooperative Middle School gym.

The civil suit filed in Rockingham Superior Court accuses the Bedford-based company of breach of contract and warranty, negligent misrepresentation, violation of the state's Consumer Protection Act and unjust enrichment. The district is seeking to recoup damages, costs and attorney fees.

Harvey Construction was hired by the school district in 2020 to construct the $17.8 million expansion and renovation of the middle school building at 100 Academic Way in Stratham. The expansion added 38,000 square feet to the school while also renovating 22,200 square feet of existing space and took more than a year to complete. The addition included 10 new classrooms, a new kitchen, a new cafeteria and a new multipurpose room.

The suit relates to the water damage caused to the existing gymnasium floor that abuts the addition following a Dec. 1, 2020, rain event.

The suit alleges that Harvey failed to protect the gymnasium from water infiltration when it was working on the addition. Rainwater, the suit states, "flooded a hallway and entered the gym through interior doors" and "infiltrated a portion of the wooden gymnasium floor."

Harvey Construction, according to the suit, agreed to cover the cost of repairs for $94,736.95 through its insurance company, which included the replacement of a portion of the gym floor. Relying on Harvey's word that the repairs were properly completed, the district signed a "release" on March 19, 2021, releasing Harvey of any future claims regarding the water damage.

The lawsuit alleges that not only did Harvey not repair the damage done by the water leak, but that they made the situation worse.

According to the suit, seven months after signing the release, "school officials noticed that significant gaps in the gymnasium flooring were appearing and growing" and notified Harvey Construction.

'Time is of essence':Exeter eyes special Town Meeting to secure funds for sewer project

The company, according to the suit, told the district the separation wasn't a problem and that because the district signed the release, "it could not sue for damages resulting from any negligent repairs by Harvey." The company also informed the school district that its warranty on that construction work had run out, according to the lawsuit.

Harvey Construction has yet to respond to the lawsuit in court. Contacted by, the company did not return calls seeking comment.

The school district's attorney, Kevin Collimore of Cullen, Collimore and Shirley law firm, is requesting the court nullify the release signed by Exeter Regional Cooperative School District officials and allow the district to pursue damages for the December 2020 water damage.

Harvey, the lawsuit claims, misrepresented itself as having the expertise to discover what the problems with the gym were, how to fix them, and fix them properly.

Bear sightings:Mother bear and cubs spotted roaming Exeter neighborhoods

The school district, according to the lawsuit, hired EFI Forensic Engineers in March 2022 to investigate the damage in the gym. The firm determined that the water damage caused in December 2020 was not properly addressed and as a result, the district ended up spending $222,500 through their insurance company to fix the problem.

The district, through its insurance company Primax, is seeking to recoup those funds as well as attorney fees. Furthermore, according to the lawsuit, the district rejects Harvey's claim the construction warranty had run out and alleges the company is in violation of New Hampshire's Business Practices for Consumer Protections.

'Time is of essence': Bear sightings: