Exclusive: BC Place roof still undergoing major repairs

B.C. Pavilion Corp. (PavCo) has opened up to Business in Vancouver about continuing problems with BC Place stadium’s new roof. Sources told BIV there are ...

B.C. Pavilion Corp. (PavCo) has opened up to Business in Vancouver about continuing problems with BC Place stadium’s new roof.

Sources told BIV there are dozens of workers, some from Europe, who are patching the roof and replacing stained roof panels during dry summer weather.

“The affected areas are being repaired, at the contractor’s expense, to protect PavCo’s 20-year warranty,” said PavCo communications manager Duncan Blomfield in a statement responding to a BIV query. “PavCo expects the contractor to supply the roof to the specifications that were ordered, and this highlights the benefit of the fixed price contract for the project.”

Blomfield said the work is not performed during public events.

“Work on the sealing process resumed this spring, and continues at present under the contract for the overall roof component and is at no additional cost to PavCo,” Blomfield said. “The occasional drip may occur on a rainy day, until the roof work is completed.”

Sealing edges of the roof panels was supposed to have been completed last fall, but was delayed by November storms. Part of the field was flooded by rainwater leaks during Grey Cup week last November. Some fans at Vancouver Whitecaps’ games early this season have complained of sitting under leaks and having to be relocated.

PavCo contractors knew that the cables were leaking lubricant in early 2011, five months before fabric installation began. In March, a BC Supreme Court judge heard that grease damage to the roof fabric from the cables could cost $10 million to fix, but PavCo claimed at the time the cleanup would be closer to $1 million.

The retractable roof has been opened for seven of 11 Whitecaps’ games this season and two of three Lions’ games. It remained closed during Roger Waters’ The Wall concert, despite being advertised as an “outdoor” concert.

PavCo is forecasting a $49 million operational loss over the next three years at BC Place and a BC Supreme Court trial is schedule for October 2013 between roof contractors Canam and Freyssinet.

Canam was hired as a $122 million subcontractor by PCL Constructors Westcoast. Canam, in turn, hired Freyssinet for $30 million. In April 2011, Canam blamed a $25 million cost overrun on Freyssinet. Troubles with the cable installation delayed application of the roof fabric to July 2011, which delayed Telus’ installation schedule. PavCo was named as one of several defendants in a $6.5 million lawsuit filed by Freyssinet against Canam last October. Canam countersued for $26.15 million.

As of December, PavCo claimed it spent $490.04 million on the budgeted $563 million stadium renovation, according to records obtained under Freedom of Information. The final bill to taxpayers remains a mystery, but Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Pat Bell said he expects to release the numbers this month.

Meanwhile, Murdlaw Inc., doing business as TS Sports, is suing PavCo, PCL Constructors Westcoast, Pattison Sign Group, ES&A Sign and Awning Co., and Dynamic Structures over payment for the shoebox-style, centre-hung videoboard. Court documents show the PCL/Murdlaw contract was worth $6,191,736. Pattison’s $735,469.06 November 14, 2011, lien was cancelled on Nov. 25, 2011 after Murdlaw and PCL’s application to the court. Court documents show PCL and Murdlaw were holding back $2,028,413.67.

bmackin@biv.com

@bobmackin

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