Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Bombers stadium delays prompt lawsuit

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THE general contractor for Winnipeg's much-delayed football stadium project is blaming a structural steel subcontractor for much of the problem, and said it will be taking steps to recoup losses it has incurred during delays.

Senior officials with The Churchill Corporation, the parent company of general contractor Stuart Olson Dominion Construction Ltd., told industry analysts earlier this week Stuart Olson expects to report a loss of between $500,000 and $900,000 for the second quarter of this year. That compares to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $7.6 million for the second quarter of 2011.

And it's mainly due to additional costs it incurred as a result delays in erecting steel framing for the roof at Investors Group Field, the new stadium being built for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on the University of Manitoba campus, they added.

Don Pearson, Stuart Olson president and chief operating officer, said the subcontractor hired to erect the steel framework for the roof -- he didn't name the firm -- was supposed to start the work in June of last year and be done by March of this year.

Instead, it started three or four months late, and won't be finished until the end of this month, Pearson said.

"The entire sequencing of the job became challenged and we incurred more costs on the winter heating and hoarding with our concrete work than we expected," he said.

"To try and satisfy our client's needs, we have been trying to expedite the work in various phases to recover from the delays to the schedule caused by our steel subcontractor. So we have had to incur additional expenses, including overtime." To further compound the problem, Pearson said they also had a number of days "where the weather did not help us, either."

As a result, Stuart Olson "will be pursuing a claim against the structural steel subcontractor for these losses."

The Bombers had originally hoped to play a portion of this season in the new stadium, but now say it won't open until next year.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 25, 2012 B5

History

Updated on Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 9:49 AM CDT: adds line in second paragraph comparing EBITDA

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