It was originally set to open last October, but now residents from Hay River, N.W.T., will have to wait until at least mid-February to use their new recreation centre — just weeks away from the Arctic Winter Games scheduled in March.
According to a Town of Hay River news release, contractor Clark Builders will hand over the facility to the town at the end of the month, but will do finishing work for about another two weeks after that.
But the Office of the Fire Marshal doesn’t believe the design of the lobby’s main stairwell allows for safe evacuation in case of fire.
Hay River Mayor Brad Mapes said he doesn’t want the public using an unsafe building. That said, he’s not sure what the problem is.
“We feel that the Office of the Fire Marshal maybe needs to reconsider a lot of these options that have been put forward from our contractor,” said Mapes, adding its design isn’t “much different from several other examples [the contractor] put forth to the fire marshal’s office.”
Mapes explained the stairwell issue could lead to renovations to the brand new facility, such as construction of an additional wall fitted with fire-rated glass.
When the town opted to build a new recreational centre over renovating the old one in June, Mapes told CBC a new centre would help avoid unforeseen problems that could come with renovations.
According to the territory’s Department of Municipal and Community Affairs, N.W.T. Fire Marshal Chucker Dewar is not available for an interview about the issue until next week.
Dale Johnson, Clark Builders’ project manager for the recreation centre, redirected CBC to the Town of Hay River when asked for comment on the stairwell issue.
According to Mapes, the contractor and fire marshal have been discussing the…