Rot and mould plague Morinville arena
Mayor concerned about potential for roof collapse
By: Kevin Ma
| Posted: Wednesday, Jan 09, 2013 07:00 pm
Rot and mould has struck the roof of Morinville’s hockey rink, and that has the town’s mayor spooked that it could collapse.
Town council voted unanimously Tuesday in favour of spending $21,000 to study the structural integrity of the support columns in the roof of the Morinville Arena and to assess mould found in the building.
The motion came out of a report tabled Tuesday that found “extensive rot damage” and some mould around the base of those columns due to water leaks – damage that would reduce the roof’s weight capacity.
There’s “zero risk” of a roof collapse right now, said Claude Valcourt, the town’s manager of public works, but the rot is there.
“There are some sections within the base (of some columns) where you can literally push a bolt through,” he said.
The report was part of a $300,000 emergency fix applied to the arena roof last October. Heavy rains had caused the roof’s membrane to leak, and it needed immediate replacement.
The report authors, engineering firm AECOM, found that the roof’s deck had rotted through in several spots, causing mould to form around its wooden support columns. Some of the roof trusses weren’t up to code, with two portions of them being six per cent weaker than required.
“This level of overstress does not mean that failure and collapse of the roof trusses is imminent,” the report said, “but does indicate that the design of the roof trusses is marginal.”
The rest of the roof met current or historic building code requirements for snow load, it added.
The report found that the arena was “likely nearing the end of its practical service life.”
The building is thought to be at least 50 years old. Maintenance could extend its use, but could be costly and difficult, the report said.
The report recommended that the town do a structural analysis of the roof columns and reinforce them if needed. It should also do a mould assessment and remove snow from the roof if it gets deeper than 30 centimetres. The report also recommended that the town look at the costs of maintaining this arena versus building a new one.
Repairs to the roof deck and membrane are now mostly done, Valcourt told council, and the roof has been cleared of snow. The roof would likely last 20 years with further maintenance, he said.
Council has already spent $300,000 on the roof, noted Coun. David Pattison, and could have more bills in store after these studies are done.
“What assurances does council have that this $300,000 doesn’t become $400,000?” he asked.
The $300,000 was just for the deck and the membrane, Valcourt said, and would likely be spent in its entirety. The town won’t know the cost to fix the rest of the roof until these reports are in.
“It may be very minimal. It may be very extensive,” Valcourt said.
Council would have the final say on what to spend in either event.
Mayor Paul Krauskopf said this report “scares the hell” out of him.
“You always hear stuff about roof collapses with too much snow load,” he said in an interview. “I know they say not to worry, but you know what? You never know.”
He was also concerned about the repair costs.
The town will get on these studies immediately, Krauskopf said. Council also put $100,000 into this year’s budget to design a replacement arena or recreation centre.
The full report on the roof can be found in the agenda package for the Jan. 8 council meeting on the town’s website.