Advertisement

Not clear if Fairview Arena will reopen after roof collapse: City of Calgary

Click to play video: 'City of Calgary reassures citizens arenas are safe after roof collapse'
City of Calgary reassures citizens arenas are safe after roof collapse
WATCH: The City of Calgary is answering questions about the roof collapse at a city arena on Tuesday, trying to reassure parents that arenas around the city are safe. Christa Dao reports – Feb 21, 2018

The City of Calgary said Wednesday that it cannot say with certainty whether the Fairview Arena can be repaired following the collapse of its roof a day earlier.

A spokesperson for Calgary Recreation said the city was notified of potential structural issues on Monday after the Fairview Women’s Hockey Arena Society, one of the operators of the arena, reported that “cracking had been heard and seen in the roof above the ice by visitors to the facility.”

They said an engineering consultant had been called in and the centre was shut down prior to the Calgary Fire Department being called at around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Calgary fire crews arrived to find the roof of the arena, which is attached to the community centre, had completely collapsed.

The fire department confirmed nobody was in the building at the time.

Story continues below advertisement

Calgary EMS reported there were no injuries.

There were some early concerns that there might be ammonia gas present, but it was confirmed that the supply had been turned off earlier, along with the other utilities.

The city confirmed Wednesday that safety code officers are investigating the cause of the roof failure and that officers have set up a safe-zone perimeter around the site.

WATCH: Calgary arena operators extra cautious after Fairview roof collapse.

Click to play video: 'Calgary arena operators extra cautious after Fairview roof collapse'
Calgary arena operators extra cautious after Fairview roof collapse

The city said it’s not clear how long the facility will remain closed or whether it will reopen at all.

Story continues below advertisement

“We don’t know what the cause was, so it’s not even safe enough to go in at this point in time,” said Calgary Recreation manager Greg Steinraths.

WATCH: The City of Calgary provides an update on the roof collapse at a city arena.

Click to play video: 'City of Calgary updates roof collapse at city arena'
City of Calgary updates roof collapse at city arena

With the investigation just starting, city politicians are weighing in.

“Now we have to do two things — basically first we have to figure out what happened [and] how to fix it,” Ward 9 Councillor Gian-Carlo Carra said. “We are really going to make sure that this is not a problem in any other arena or civic facility.”

Steinraths said the city currently inspects its aging facilities on a five-year rotation and the last time the Fairview Community Centre was inspected was 2015. He said officers did not find any problems at that time.

Story continues below advertisement

He said five years is industry standard and that there are no plans to update the policy to include more frequent inspections.

“What I would say to the parents – and I’m a hockey parent myself – is that the process and protocols we have in place met the exact safety needs that we had in that situation. There was some issues, we got in within 24 hours and were able to shut down,” Steinraths said.

The city said its building codes are designed with regional snow loads in mind.

Steinraths said other arena operators have reached out to the Fairview Women’s Hockey Arena Society to help reschedule practices and games and that a provincial ringette tournament that was to be held at the arena has been rescheduled and will be held at a different arena the weekend of March 23-25.

However, the loss of the arena has created problems for ice rink users across the city.

Hockey Calgary, a group that uses facilities across Calgary, said it trusts that the city is doing its part in maintaining the buildings.

“We trust in the city that they’re doing their due diligence in checking all the facilities. I’m sure there’s processes for doing that and making sure they’re safe,” said executive director Kevin Kobelka.

Story continues below advertisement

With files from Heide Pearson and Doug Vaessen

 

Sponsored content

AdChoices