Diehl Townsley statement: Community Centre closure - November 19, 2018

Diehl Townsley, Director of Strathcona County Facility Services

Media statement– November 19, 2018

Strathcona County has made good progress in its efforts to return County Hall and Community Centre to full operations following an explosion in level 2 of the parkade on November 6, 2018.

It is important to acknowledge that the buildings performed admirably, and that all systems performed as designed.

Our primary focus throughout has been to ensure the safety of all people – while it added time to our processes, it also gives us confidence going forward.

A number of assessments were conducted:

  • Structural assessments
  • Environmental assessments

County Hall - This building will be reopened to the public on Wednesday, November 21 to give our employees time to get settled back at work.

Community Centre - This complex will remain closed, until we can ensure it is safe and clean for our employees and residents.

Community Centre North Tower - It may be possible to re-open this tower to staff and the public as early as November 26, but there will be separate, on-street access, with no elevator from the parkade.

Library - The library will continue to operate as pop up space out of the Broadmoor Golf Course Pro Shop, at 2100 Oak Street; we are working with the library to find a more suitable location for the longer term. The Bookmobile will maintain its regular schedule.

The Library was affected more adversely than the rest of the building as it has direct service access to the parkade. Currently, we do not have an exact date to re-open the library. We have an environmental consultant performing a thorough review for contaminates and developing cleaning recommendations to address any contaminates they identify through laboratory testing.

Vicky’s Bistro and Wine Bar - The restaurant was also affected by the fire and the dispersion of soot-like material. Similar to the library, we are waiting for the full laboratory results before confirming the entire cleaning scope of work. However, cleaning has begun in the restaurant space, based on the results we have received.

Community Centre South Tower – this area, occupied by our Mayor and Council, along with other departments, was damaged similar to that of the library office area, Due to the position of the explosion and elevators providing access to the parkade. The office areas and council chambers will be cleaned concurrently with the library. Depending on the final laboratory results, cleaning of the areas are expected to take between 30 to 90 days.

In the meantime, we have temporarily situated County staff from this area at leased facilities.

Community Centre parkade – The parkade had the most extensive damage as the result of the explosions and fire. The parkade damage through initial structural engineering reviews appears to be more cosmetic at this point. However, we are conducting concrete and structural testing to confirm the extent of the damage and to develop a detailed scope of work for the repair. At this time we are anticipating the parkade to take around 90 days to complete the cleaning and all required repairs.

During this time period, parking around the Community Centre will be limited.

Ongoing updates will be made available on the County web site. Residents who do not have access to our website are invited to call our switchboard at 780-464-8111.

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Last updated: Wednesday, November 28, 2018
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