School engineer surrenders Colorado license

DENVER - A structural engineer on two troubled school construction projects has agreed to surrender his Colorado license as part of a settlement with the state.

The deal ends a more than year-long dispute between H. Gary Howell and a state regulatory board that accused him of substandard work on rural schools in Meeker and Alamosa.

Fort Collins-based Neenan Co. fired Howell in 2011 after The Denver Post reported problems at Meeker's then-new $19 million elementary school.

Students attended classes there for a year before the school board ordered it closed. An independent review found serious structural problems, including weaknesses in the wall bracing system.

Howell says his designs were sound, but were not sufficiently detailed.

A board that oversees the construction of 15 schools being built in eight districts across Colorado says engineers found structural issues in every Neenan Co. school project that received state grants to make school buildings safer, according to the Post.

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