University of Iowa pays Modern Piping for Children’s Hospital dispute

The UI on Wednesday announced it has paid Modern Piping the remainder of its original judgment owed for work on the Stead Family Children’s Hospital.


Lily Smith

The Stead Family Children’s Hospital is seen on on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017.

Marissa Payne, Editor-in-Chief

After months of court battles between the University of Iowa and contractor Modern Piping over disputes on the Stead Family Children’s Hospital, the UI announced on Wednesday it has paid the firm the remaining $13.5 million of its court-ordered sum after consulting with the Attorney General’s Office.

“This represents final payment to Modern Piping, which delivered what they believe are the final construction records to Heery, the third-party design professional,” UI Assistant Vice President for External Relations Jeneane Beck said in a statement. “The University of Iowa looks forward to Heery’s review and approval of Modern Piping’s final construction records (final corrected as-builts, final corrected BIM model and Leed certificates), as required by the contract.”

RELATED: Court lifts stay on order for UI to pay Modern Piping $13.5 million

The resolution of the ongoing dispute comes after Tuesday court filings show a 6th District Court judge lifted the stay of execution on the case, paving the way for the collection of the remainder of the nearly $17 million payment, ordered by the court in August 2018. The UI on Wednesday paid the remaining balance, including interest, on the judgment.

In September 2018, the court ordered a stay on the execution of the judgment as the UI waited for its appeal to the Iowa Supreme Court to be finalized. In April, the Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s previous ruling that the UI owes the amount awarded by an arbitration panel in 2017. The appeal was finalized Monday.

As the UI’s statement noted, architecture firm Heery International still needs to approve the final as-built Children’s Hospital construction records. UI President Bruce Harreld told The Daily Iowan on May 2 that he was beginning to believe the as-builts may not exist and said the UI was considering using a third-party firm to create the as-builts from scratch. Modern Piping has repeatedly dismissed that contention and said it had already provided the as-builts.

RELATED: Court rules in favor of Modern Piping

Modern Piping did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Wednesday regarding the resolution of the dispute, nor did it respond to an inquiry about how the documents provided this week for Heery’s approval differ from the records it says it previously provided.