City eyes replacing Western Financial Place roof

Staff still looking at options but budgeting $3 million for two-year project.

The City of Cranbrook is holding public meetings for a five-year financial plan this week.

The City of Cranbrook is holding public meetings for a five-year financial plan this week.

The City of Cranbrook is looking at replacing the roof of Western Financial Place and is budgeting $3 million over the next two years to complete the project.

The roof is leaking in various places, according to Chris New, the Director of Leisure Services, so city staff is in the midst of completing engineering reports with an eye on a replacement.

“We’ll likely be looking at a partial replacement this year,” said New, “and the remainder the following year. A little early to say for sure because we’re still going through the process of seeing how everything is up there, but this roof is rated for 15 years and we’re into 17, so it’s starting to show signs [of aging].”

New says staff is investigating all aspects of the roof, but is estimating it to cost $3 million, as reported to mayor and council during department budget meetings last week at city hall.

“We are experiencing leaks here and there and this roof is, the way it’s constructed, it’s very difficult to track down a leak because it can travel quite a distance through the decking system and show up quite a ways away from where it starts dripping on the ground, so it’s really hard to pinpoint,” said New.

The roof is at the end of it’s lifespan, which became apparent last year during the spring snowmelt.

“We don’t want to wait until the roof completely fails and we get lots more moisture through the building. We want to get on it now,” New said. “We had some days last spring where things were melting and we had quite a few leaks were happening through the building, so to remedy it, it needs a replacement.”

The project will likely be tendered out to specialized contractors, New added. Staff is looking at a replacement structure that will have a longer lifespan of roughly 25-30 years.

Once the tender process is complete, construction could start in the summer, said New. Any work on the roof is not expected to disrupt day-to-day operations, he added.

“Of course it’s a big project and a big roof, so we’ve got lots of stuff to look at and consider as we pull the work plan together,” he said.

Western Financial Place opened in 2000 after a referendum by local residents approved construction of the $23 million facility.