June 6, 2020

Winnipeg
5° C, Clear

Full Forecast

Help us deliver reliable news during this pandemic.

We are working tirelessly to bring you trusted information about COVID-19. Support our efforts by subscribing today.

No Thanks Subscribe

Already a subscriber?

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Repair deal nears end zone

Stadium owner, builder haggle over covering $3.5-M cost

The new stadium has suffered from numerous design and construction issues, the latest of which is snowmelt leaking into luxury suites and the visitors' dressing room.

JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

The new stadium has suffered from numerous design and construction issues, the latest of which is snowmelt leaking into luxury suites and the visitors' dressing room.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 9/4/2014 (2249 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The owner and builder of Investors Group Field are close to a deal to pay for up to $3.5 million worth of additional work on the city's new football stadium.

Since 2013, stadium contractor Stuart Olson Dominion Construction has been embroiled in a financial dispute with BBB Stadium Inc., the non-profit organization that built the 33,500-seat venue on the University of Manitoba's Fort Garry campus.

Ron Lemieux

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Ron Lemieux

The stadium has suffered from design and construction issues that included replacing handrails that weren't up to code, punching holes in concrete to allow concertgoers access to the playing surface, installing missing insulation and fireproofing crawl spaces.

'Let me just say, one does not have a crystal ball, and you don't know, totally, what may be down the road. There's very limited amounts of money that will be going into this particular facility'‐ Tourism, Culture, Heritage and Sport Minister Ron Lemieux on not ruling out further provincial funding for the stadium

BBB Stadium has argued some of the additional work is governed by a guaranteed-maximum-price agreement and is the responsibility of the contractor. Stuart Olson Dominion has argued some of the work results from changes to the original design and thus are the responsibility of the stadium's owner.

Compounding the dispute is no consensus among the four BBB Stadium stakeholders -- the city, province, university and Winnipeg Football Club -- about who would pay for any work that ultimately winds up being BBB Stadium's responsibility. Mayor Sam Katz, for one, has pledged not to spend an extra penny.

A deal to finally settle the issue is imminent, said BBB chairman Andrew Konowalchuk, the U of M's associate vice-president in charge of administration and a project manager by training.

"A couple of days ago, I would have told you it would be done over the next 24 hours," Konowalchuk said in an interview. The resolution of the dispute, he said, has been delayed by the discovery of snowmelt infiltrating luxury suites and the visitors' dressing room at Investors Group Field.

The financial responsibility for this design flaw -- an apparent inability to seal weather-protected portions of the stadium -- is not part of the negotiations and will clearly fall to either the contractor or the designing architect, Konowalchuk said.

BBB Stadium construction reports said the infiltration of water into the stadium was identified as a problem well before the first CFL game was played at Investors Group Field.

"Leaks on the west side are a great concern, as we have equipment in place in the game-day production suite," reads the stadium-construction update for April 21, 2013.

Konowalchuk said the stadium's funders will not be on the hook to repair either the water damage or fix the seals on the building.

BBB Stadium is, however, expected to cover at least part of the $3.5 million in the construction dispute with Stuart Olson Dominion. That means the final cost of the stadium project is expected to rise at least one more time.

The price tag for the stadium stands at $208.5 million. The Selinger government has fronted the bulk of this cost through $191 million worth of loans and grants. Given the imminent resolution of the dispute with the contractor, Tourism, Culture, Heritage & Sport Minister Ron Lemieux would not rule out further provincial funding for the stadium.

"Let me just say, one does not have a crystal ball, and you don't know, totally, what may be down the road," he said Wednesday, adding further cash infusions would not be significant. "There's very limited amounts of money that will be going into this particular facility."

The resolution of the dispute may also allow Stuart Olson Dominion to pay up to 17 subcontractors who have not been paid since last summer for additional work conducted on the stadium. Stuart Olson Dominion and its subcontractors briefly suspended warranty and other work on the stadium last fall due to non-payment.

Stuart Olson Dominion did not respond to interview requests, while the Winnipeg Football Club refused interview requests.

bartley.kives@freepress.mb.ca

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Your support has enabled us to provide free access to stories about COVID-19 because we believe everyone deserves trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

Our readership has contributed additional funding to give Free Press online subscriptions to those that can’t afford one in these extraordinary times — giving new readers the opportunity to see beyond the headlines and connect with other stories about their community.

To those who have made donations, thank you.

To those able to give and share our journalism with others, please Pay it Forward.

The Free Press has shared COVID-19 stories free of charge because we believe everyone deserves access to trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

While we stand by this decision, it has undoubtedly affected our bottom line.

After nearly 150 years of reporting on our city, we don’t want to stop any time soon. With your support, we’ll be able to forge ahead with our journalistic mission.

If you believe in an independent, transparent, and democratic press, please consider subscribing today.

We understand that some readers cannot afford a subscription during these difficult times and invite them to apply for a free digital subscription through our Pay it Forward program.

History

Updated on Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 10:15 AM CDT: Replaces photo

The Free Press would like to thank our readers for their patience while comments were not available on our site. We're continuing to work with our commenting software provider on issues with the platform. In the meantime, if you're not able to see comments after logging in to our site, please try refreshing the page.

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us