Petersen Center Dispute

The $119 million Petersen Events Center at Pennsylvania’s University of Pittsburgh got rave reviews when it opened three years ago but has since become the subject of a lawsuit filed by Pitt officials and the state against the architect that built the facility.

Pitt officials have approved $5.6 million to replace the roof above the 12,500-seat arena because it allegedly has more than 200 holes affecting ventilation, sprinkler and communications systems. The plan is to finish the job before the Panthers’ basketball season begins.

University Executive Vice Chancellor Jerome Cochran said a vapor barrier to prevent moisture from seeping into the building was never installed, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The project is not expected to interrupt scheduled events, such as Bruce Springsteen‘s July 28th tour stop.

Meanwhile, a roof expert hired by Apostolou Associates / Rosser International — the architecture firm that built the facility — said the university is being hasty.

In a report, the expert said 70 to 80 percent of the roof is unaffected and that other less costly options should be considered.

The university filed its lawsuit against the architecture firm and contractors in December. Apostolou / Rosser countersued in January, claiming the problems resulted from “unattainable” demands.