Bowden Igloo arena roof repair could cost $2 million or more

Bowden Town Council files ruling on inquiry into arena roof issues, citing lack of information

BOWDEN – City Council fears it could cost $2 million – or far more – to repair dampness and other possible problems in the roof of the Bowden Igloo arena.

Managing director Greg Skotheim told the board he would like to know exactly what is going on there, so he would like a closer inspection to be carried out, but he warned it could also be very costly.

After discussing the issue and its possible ramifications, the board voted unanimously at its February 14 meeting to table the issue.

“We don’t have enough information,” the adviser said. Randy Brown said moving the tabling motion.

The discussion was sparked by a report from ISL Engineering and Land Services Ltd.

This report referred to a visual structural review of the roof undertaken in September 2020.

He found that the screws in the metal part of the roof seemed to come loose, allowing some moisture to seep in and possibly damage the roof. In addition, some braces and roof truss columns were found to be “overused”.

The municipality has been informed that the arena is safe to use, as long as the roof does not support more than seven inches of snow.

The ISL report says the city could fix these issues all at once at an estimated cost of $2.07 million.

Or, the work could be carried out in three phases with costs ranging from nearly $699,274 to $1.1 million for phase 1, from $211,855 to $1.2 million for phase 2 and from $211,855 to $699,274 for Phase 3. No price estimate was offered for Phase 3 of Option 3.

Skotheim noted that in essence the facility has two roofs and the problem is that there is likely moisture between the two roofs causing rot and possibly other issues.

“I don’t know. That’s a lot of money,” Skotheim warned. “We’re talking 6, 7, 800,000 at least; then probably $800,000 again and a bit more than that.

Skotheim said he wanted further investigation to determine exactly the extent of the problem. He said Red Deer County might be able to help because it helped Delburne when work was done on their arena.

Skotheim said he believes the arena dates back to the 1970s.

“Everything in this area is getting old. He needs work,” he said. “I think we need to do a bit more investigation before we start committing to big numbers.”

It could be scary, though.

“Once we open a part of it, you never know what you’re going to find,” said Bowden Town Mayor Robb Stuart.

On the other hand, Stuart said other aspects of the arena were in pretty good shape after the city invested money in them.

“The thing is, we put so much into the arena itself: the ice factory and the ice and the boards and everything – the lighting. Everything else is awesome,” said he declared.

Skotheim suggested just servicing the facility now and examining its issues in detail later.

“I think we have to make a good decision. It will be a large number. I don’t think we have that big number right now,” he said.

It was suggested that a grant from the Community Facilities Improvement Program could help cover the cost of the work.

Com. Sandy Gamble noted that the city has already been approved for such a grant. She recommended knowing when this grant expires.

Stuart said that although only one minor hockey team currently uses the arena, it is heavily used by recreational hockey teams.

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