Demolition begins on Flin Flon Aqua Centre following partial roof collapse

Mother Nature may have started the job, but the City of Flin Flon and a wrecking company from Winnipeg are now finishing it. Demolition has begun on the Flin Flon Aqua Centre.

City council awarded a tender for the project during a Nov. 17 Zoom meeting to Rakowski Cartage and Wrecking, a Winnipeg-based demolition and waste removal business. The project will set the City back $113,000.

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The company was slated to arrive at the pool site last week to begin work. The crews began work at the site earlier this week, starting with site preparation before large portions of the building were taken down.

“They’re starting this week already. They have some asbestos abatement that has to take place first,” said City chief administrative officer Glenna Daschuk during the meeting.

Back in the spring, $237,500 was allocated in the 2020-21 City budget to knock down and clean up the pool site. The cost was estimated at around $880,000, with the City then looking for grant funding to help finance the project.

Flin Flon Mayor Cal Huntley expected any complications in bringing workers north to carry out the project - COVID-19 considerations were taken into account when reaching the deal and construction and demolition work is considered an essential service under provincial government health orders.

The pool’s roof partially collapsed Nov. 10 following a heavy snow dump, with the roof caving in over the pool’s now-abandoned deep end. The facility was shut down for good last winter after employees discovered a noticeable bow in the roof over the pool area - in the same area that eventually collapsed. The building was barricaded from the public and items from inside the building were sold off by the City’s procurement department.

“It did exactly what the engineer’s report said it was going to do. They said it was structurally unsound, that that chances are it was going to implode in on itself. That’s exactly what took place,” Huntley said.

“I had former mayor (Dennis) Ballard call me and say, ‘You guys finally got one right - it’s a good thing you shut it down.’”

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