Saturday, March 19, 2011

Will Taxpayers Owe Because of $2 MIllion Repair Due to Leaky Pipes at Lucas Oil Stadium; Does CIB Owe Colts Compensation for Cancelled/Moved Events?

Lucas Oil Stadium
Recently it was reported that galvanized pipe at the 2 1/2 year old Lucas Oil Stadium was leaking and requires a $2 million fix. 

The pipes were installed by Frank E. Irish, who has gone out of business after filing bankruptcy.  Of course, an obvious question has to be asked as to why galvanized pipe is rusting and deteriorating after only two years.  Isn't the definition of galvanized pipe, pipe that has been manufactured not to rust or deteriorate quickly?  And why didn't inspectors catch problems with the pipes when they were installed?

According to a Channel 13 report, the stadium has been using 7 to 14 million gallons of water a month since last August, seven times the amount that the stadium should be using.

While John Klipsch, executive director of the Indiana Stadium Convention Center Building Authority seemed confident that insurance would pay the claim, I'm not so sure.  At the very least, the insurance company may contest paying for the repairs and extra water used because of the leaky pipes.

In the meantime, apparently several events at Lucas Oil Stadium will have to be moved or cancelled. Will the CIB have to pay the Colts for the cancelling or moving these events?  Remember the Colts get 50% of the non-Colts game revenue at the stadium.  Given Irsays position on concessions, I doubt he will accept losing one dime due to part of the stadium being closed to fix the pipes.

As noted by Indy Tax Dollars, two of these events that are being moved are a wedding and reception, and another is a wedding rehearsal dinner.  So you have to wonder what events they're scheduling at Lucas Oil Stadium to justify the expense of the stadium.  Once also has to wonder whether the stadium is generating income with these events or whether activities are simply being moved from one venue to another.


Gary R. Welsh said...

I spoke to a knowledgeable contractor about this matter. He suspected the contractor used galvanized piping manufactured in China, which is often inferior to the traditional steel pipes manufactured at old American mills. He said a lot of the galvanized piping that is used today is simply not of the quality manufactured used years ago. He said it was critical to pressure test the pipes after they were installed, which would have detected leaks in any defective piping. He also mentioned you can have a rapid deterioration in piping from a metal chemical reaction if you are using different types of metal piping in the same structure that will cause the metal to deteroriate rapaidly.

Downtown Indy said...

The whole notion of "200+ events 'hosted' each year by LOS" was bogus from the start. Just fluffy words from the proponents to make it sound good. I would not be surprised if the number also includes tour groups that might come by to gawk.

I would think there are scant few brides-to-be who prefer LOS as their 'romantic' location for a wedding.

Pete Boggs said...

Looks like, smells like?

Unknown said...

Frank Irish went under due to pricing issues BEFORE the stadium was close to completion. You might want to check and see who is legally responsible for laying the pipe, and who holds the umbrella for the GC who subbed to the mechanical contractor on this one.

Gary R. Welsh said...

The project was close to completion before Irish went bankrupt in 2008. The news reports indicate the piping in question was installed by the bankrupt contractor. The mechanical work that remained to be completed was more likely HVAC-related.

Pete Boggs said...

Galvanized pipe is an oddball spec for a new project. Heavy gauge copper would be far preferable. Galvanized is subject to electrolysis & premature wear.

Pete Boggs said...

For clarification, copper pipe is also subject to electrolysis, but galvanized rust, pitting, & flow constriction can be rapid.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Pete, It is my understanding the electrolysis can occur when you are mixing different types of metal used in your piping system, leading the pipes to rapidly deteriorate.

Downtown Indy said...

Frank Irish went under because their bank would not extend the company's line of credit.

Commercial Foreclosure Weblog

It sounds like material prices rose quickly and the bank (according to Irish) changed how they value collateral and the company was forced into bankruptcy as a result.

So why would the CIB not step in and try to save their selected plumbing contractor right in the middle of a big job, why would the project manager (was it Klipsch at that time?) not be extra critical when inspecting the materials being used?

The publicly disclosed information seems to say Irish was caught by bad timing -- needing material whose price shot up, and not having the cash to handle that which they could not raise without first completing their work.

I always wondered if Irish was simply the victim of a competitor muscling Irish out of the market.

Surely the project selection process looked at financials for Irish before awarding the bid and thus Irish was in good shape beforehand. How did they get squeezed all of a sudden?

Unknown said...

Frank Irish went under BECAUSE of the Colts stadium. They did not lock in their prices of Copper and other materials when those materials went through the roof and went up literally 1000 percent in price. They were forced to live with the prices they had bid which caused their BK. I am shocked to find out today they subbed out the lower quality pipe--question for Paul and the attorneys is, is that criminal? Are you allowed to substitute not-like quality piping? It would be like doing the same with the steel structure and the building collapsing. Piping and clean water is critical to the safety and functioning of any building.

M Theory said...

Once at Rick's Boatyard I met a mechanical engineer who was one of the original people used to assess the site of both Lucas Oil and the Marriott. His company did not end up working at either site because they refused to do sub par work.

The engineer told me that both publicly funded buildings will have major issues with water due to faulty mechanicals and the high water table.

The engineer said the Marriott is particularly bad.

He told me this two years ago.

Paul K. Ogden said...


I found out recently that Irish may not have been the one to finish the job.

If you as a contractor or subcontractory are not living up to your contractual obligations, obviously that's a breach of contract. But if you concealed information or did some sort of coverup of substandard practices so as to not get caught, then that could fall into the criminal arena. It's a very gray area.

I am beginning to wonder about some of these paving jobs around the city. They paved White River Trail from 30th well past 38th street. The asphalt is uneven, rough and crackeed in spots. In some areas potholes have developed. Possibly they ran out of time to put on the last level and weren't able to seal it before winter. That's speculation though...I don't know enough about the subject.

american patriot said...

I wonder if anyone has done a water quality test of the drinking water.

I take a sample of my water to the state lab on 16th street every few years just to confirm what my local government tells me I'm drinking.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Paul, You're not paying any attention. No, Irish didn't complete the job, but it was on the very back end of the stadium project when he went bankrupt. The pipes had already been laid by the point in 2008 when Irish went bankrupt. The remaining work was likely unrelated to the problem pipes. Also, didn't Irish re-open under a new business name? I see their trucks around town.

Pete Boggs said...

AI: Yes, different metals can accelerate electrolysis, the fix is known as a dielectric union between the two. Metals naturally occur in water as well.

Paul K. Ogden said...


I simply went off the same email I'm sure you received about another company may have been responsible for the pipes other than Irish.

Maia Dobson said...

I don't think it's the taxpayers problems with there were leaks with the pipes. The school should have an excellent pipe bursting equipment on emergencies like this and stop blaming people or circumstances.

daniellaprice30 said...

I agree with you Maia, it's the government's fault for not taking care of these environmental services. I think there shouldn't be any blaming in the first place.