Calgary Arena Closed Over Collapse Risk Passed Inspection In March

The arena in Southeast Calgary that was recently ordered to temporarily close due to concerns that its roof could collapse has been discovered to have been noted as structurally sound during a thorough review of facilities earlier in March 2018.

Early in December, the city’s safety codes officer ordered that Lynnwood’s Jack Setters Arena be closed pending work from roofing in Calgary, over concerns brought forward that an accumulation of snow of about 15cm could lead to a collapse.

Jack Setters was one of the 42 city and community-owned arenas in Calgary that came under intense scrutiny following a roof truss giving way at the Fairview Arena, crashing down into the 45-year-old building, a day following its closure over safety concerns that were prompted by snapping sounds and a crack that was spotted in a wooden support beam.

Following that incident, a review was conducted by city safety inspectors, with a particular focus on 23 buildings that were built between the 90s and the 80s. The inspectors saw no red-level problems at any of the arenas, and added that they’d be conducting more regular inspection of the facilities.

Marco Civitarese, the acting Director of Calgary Building Services, stated that the initial visual inspections of the arenas prompted no concerns, but a recent follow-up inspection of Jack Setters determined the potential issues with its curved bowstring trusses, which, under certain circumstances, could become unstable.

He says that if one of the trusses fail, then the others will follow suit, like a house of cards, noting the recent review of the arena to see short- and long-term solutions, like calling in roofing in Calgary, that could see the facility re-opening. Civitarese adds that this is being conducted out of an abundance of caution.

Civitarese also noted that no other arena in Calgary possesses the design of Jack Setters’ trusses, and, therefore, wouldn’t be at risk of similar potential structural problems.

Millican Ogden Community Association President, Rick Smith, says that the closure was devastating for the many people that utilize the facility, which included minor and adult hockey, ringette and figure skating.

Civitarese stated that the city’s recreation department is working with the impacted groups in order to find temporary facilities they can use while engineers find solutions for the problems with the Jack Setters Arena.