Sylvan Lake multiplex reopened after collapse of old arena

Sylvan Lake residents will be allowed back into their multiplex on Wednesday.

Sylvan Lake residents will be allowed back into their multiplex on Wednesday.

Structural engineers gave the town the green light to open the facility after a detailed review of the nature of the collapse of the adjoining Sylvan Lake Arena.

Joanne Gaudet, town communications officer, said on Tuesday that the engineers had signed off on a letter of clearance allowing the multiplex to reopen.

“Although the arena is still in a very unstable condition and access into the arena remains restricted, the multiplex has been deemed safe to enter,” says Gaudet in a news release.

A large portion of the arena’s roof collapsed under the weight of snow just after midnight on Jan. 20.

A rink worker driving an ice resurfacer was buried under debris but escaped unscathed. There was no one else in the building at the time.

The multiplex has been closed since the collapse because of concerns that the building could be at risk by its proximity to the arena.

An insurance company has hired a contractor to begin clearing snow off the roof of the arena today.

The work is expected to take a week and is meant to stabilize the south wall and the roof.

Demolition is not expected to happen soon.

To make up for lost use, the town intends to extend daily hours at its other rink to include a 6:45 a.m. ice time and evening ice times will go as late as 12:45 a.m. if necessary.

The regular ice season will be extended a month to the end of April. The annual Summer Hockey Camp will move to the other arena in July and August.

Next year’s ice season will begin in early September, a couple of weeks earlier than previously.

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