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University sues endowment

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Oklahoma State University filed a lawsuit on Thursday against Cowboy Athletics, Inc., for damages to Boone Pickens Stadium that it claims resulted from a plumbing issue during renovations in 2008.

The suit against Cowboy Athletics, an endowment designed in 2005 for funding the development of OSU’s buildings and co-founded by athletic director Mike Holder, accuses Cowboy Athletics for breach of contract and negligence during the renovations. OSU is asking for more than $75,000, according to the petition. 

The endowment served as general contractor for the football stadium renovations, which were completed in 2009. OSU discovered a break in the PVC plastic drain piping in the west end of the stadium in 2010. Later in the year, the school found gravel blockages in the stadium’s piping system. After further inspection, 15 breaks in the piping were found, according to the petition.

The breaks and blockages were eventually linked to the renovations, the document says. It was determined the pipes were improperly installed and did not allow for expansion and contraction, according to the filing. Also, a manufacturing defect in the steam regulator of two water heaters and a faulty temperature controller caused overheated water to enter the piping system, causing them to fail. 

As a result of the pipe failure, the school’s football team was temporarily moved to another building and the stadium underwent extensive repairs, according to the filing. The concrete flooring in the stadium’s west end had to be removed and the PVC pipes were replaced with cast iron drain piping.

Because of the faulty piping system, OSU received losses that insurance does not cover, according to the filing. The school’s insurance companies are also listed as plaintiffs.

The lawsuit is also filed against six other contractors involved in the renovations, including Flintco, a construction company based in Tulsa. The Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents approved Flintco for the design and construction of a new residence hall on campus late last year.

Most recently, the Board of Regents unanimously approved a gift-in-kind agreement with Cowboy Athletics on Friday, which will help build out up to 20 additional suites in Boone Pickens Stadium. The project is estimated to cost $2.2 million and will be funded by private donors, according to the board’s agenda. The first phase of the project is projected to be completed by the fall 2013 football season.

A court date for the lawsuit has not been assigned in Payne County District Court.