Concerns for public safety after a leak was discovered in the roof of the Drumheller Curling Club building has prompted the organization to make the difficult decision not to operate during the 2023-2024 season.
The leak was discovered as ice was being prepared to be put in for the upcoming season and, although the Town of Drumheller assisted in repairing the exterior of the roof, damage inside the roof has uncovered air quality concerns.
“The Town and the Drumheller Curling Club are, of course, concerned with everyone’s safety,” says Drumheller Curling Club President Debra Walker. “We are also expecting a heavy snowfall year, and we are just not certain if other leaks in the roof will arise, or how sound the roof is.”
Due to damage to the inside of the ceiling, a section of ceiling fell into the bar and concession area of the Curling Club. Mold was discovered on these pieces, and the area was cordoned off by the Town, and a quality assessment was requested.
However, upon receiving the air quality report, it was determined there were “significant levels of air contamination” in the boarded off area.
The Curling Club has faced challenges with its current facility since March 2022 when it was initially announced the lease on the facility would expire in June of the same year. This was due to extensive infrastructure repairs needed on the facility to bring it up to code amid health and safety concerns. It was estimated at the time it would cost about $1 million to complete all the necessary repairs on the facility, though this cost could increase if additional repairs and work were identified through the process, and did not include any aesthetic or ice upgrades.
However, the Town and the Club executive members came to agreements to allow the club to continue leasing and operating out of the facility until June 2024. Some minor repairs were completed to the facility roof to ensure no leakage, modify its heating, ventilation, and air conditioning control, and sealing the basement to prevent air flow between the basement and main floors.
“Without repair we are not able to benefit from the full use of the upper level. The concession/bar is a source of revenue for the club, and awaiting repairs would set our season back even further,” Ms. Walker says, noting even if repairs were completed it could lead to extensive work, and would require a second air quality assessment.
Currently, the Club’s executive are in communication with the Carbon Ag Society to see if teams can join their season for this year, and are hoping to hear response back later this week.
The Curling Club continues to look for ways to bring a new facility to fruition for the Drumheller community, and Ms. Walker says a company is being considered. She notes, however, the cost of a new facility is estimated at approximately $3 million. The Club will continue to fundraise to make a new facility a reality, and Ms. Walker says this will be a significant undertaking by the Club which will require support from its members and the Drumheller community as a whole.