NTelos Roof Covered

The city of Portsmouth, Va., and the two companies that designed and built the Ntelos Pavilion roof shredded by Hurricane Isabel in 2003 agreed to a settlement April 4th, reportedly worth close to $3 million, to cover replacement costs and other damages.

The settlement came a week before a scheduled trial, and days after attorneys for roof designer Buro Happold filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit because the city’s “expert witness,” Andrew Kolozsvary, was not a licensed engineer. Kolozsvary’s firm, Span Systems Inc., designed and built the replacement roof, according to The Virginian-Pilot.

Under the settlement, Buro Happold will pay the city $1.3 million and Birdair Inc. will pony up $1.35 million. Insurance carriers and architects will contribute another $100,000, adding to the $250,000 Portsmouth received last year, the paper reported.

The settlement wasn’t the only good news for Portsmouth or local music fans. Virginia-based cell phone company nTelos also announced in early April its agreement to continue name sponsorship of the shed for another three years. Terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed.

Possibly best of all for the venue, the first nine dates of the upcoming season were announced to much fanfare.

The venue’s new managers, Integrated Management Company, announced the lineup including James Brown, Ashlee Simpson, and Lyle Lovett. It said the company hopes to produce at least 25 shows this year – the highest number since Isabel crippled the pavilion.

“People are going to say it’s a new beginning,” IMC co-president Ken MacDonald told The Virginian-Pilot. “And we’ll convince them. This facility … is really a jewel that should not be taken for granted.”

Despite all the good news, Portsmouth hasn’t completely cleared its legal docket over the fallout from Isabel and the damage to the shed.

It is scheduled to go to arbitration in May with former managers Harbor Center Joint Venture to settle claims that the city owes as much as $900,000 in damages for lost business – including all of the 2004 season – because of the failed roof.

Portsmouth awarded a new management contract to IMC over four other companies, including Harbor Center Joint Venture, in December.