By JOSH ALDRICH
Three Hills Mayor Tim Shearlaw saw a true sense of community as neighbouring Trochu stepped up to take on all events that were originally scheduled for the Three Hills Centennial Centre Arena after the roof partially collapsed last Wednesday.
The building’s roof, which was completed with a retrofit in 1995, while the rest of the arena finished it’s renovation in 2008, broke down under the strain of melting snow and ice over its west end. Steel support cross members buckled and bent, allowing water to drip in at about 3:45 p.m.
The arena’s roof had just passed an inspection in January.
“We were comfortable that we were all right at that point in time, but I guess the weight and stress factor increases as the melt sets in,” said Shearlaw.
A high school skating class had just completed and figure skaters were just going on the ice for a rehearsal for their year-end gala that was scheduled for the weekend but moved to Trochu.
Damage is estimated at $500,000 and will be covered by insurance.
The town is also considering further reinforcement of the roof at an extra cost.
No one was hurt in the collapse.
The building’s roof was reinforced the next day by a scaffolding structure.
The rest of the building, which includes a restaurant, playschool, and a dance and karate studio has been reopened.
The Centennial Centre is the latest in a series of arena collapses this winter due to the snow fall, including the Sylvan Lake Arena and another in Drayton Valley.
The arena should be ready to go for the next hockey season, but it also means all summer activities like lacrosse will also be moved 15 km up the road to Trochu.
“What I would like to say is how much I appreciate the regional co-operation that we enjoy between all of the communities within the County of Kneehill and Trochu our good neighbours here,” said Shearlaw.