Investigation continues into fieldhouse collapse
By: Don Patterson
| Posted: Thursday, Jan 10, 2013 01:03 pm
Investigators are continuing to search for what caused the steel frame of the Foothills-Okotoks Field House to collapse last month, while the project’s contractor is working to get construction back on track.
“We obviously lost some time at Christmas in terms of getting things back on track, but we’re going to do everything in our power to make sure we’re doing the best we can for the project to get it complete,” said Scot Rutherford, president of contractor Scott Builders.
The building structure, located near Aldersyde off Highway 7 east of Okotoks, collapsed on Dec. 21 around 8:30 a.m.
Workers were at the site, but no one was in the building at the time and no one was injured.
Rutherford said the investigation into the incident is ongoing and they haven’t determined what caused the structure to collapse. While there are some indications wind may have been a factor, he said there were also temporary braces in place at the time and the investigation will determine the ultimate cause.
“We have to be pretty meticulous at that,” he said.
The company is also working with Occupational Health and Safety and the Workers Compensation Board as part of the investigation.
The project is insured and Rutherford said there will not be any costs incurred by Okotoks or the MD of Foothills resulting from the incident.
Construction on the project started in the fall and it was hoped the field house would be open by fall 2013. The foundation was complete and work had begun on the building’s frame.
Rutherford said the project will definitely be delayed, but the length of the delay hasn’t been determined.
He said they have already re-ordered steel for the building and the purchase has been expedited. Rutherford said he expects to have a revised schedule sometime this week.
“We’re going to do our best to mitigate it as much as possible,” he said.
MD manager Harry Riva Cambrin said both the MD and Okotoks councils will be updated about the investigation later this month.
He said he doesn’t know how long the project will be delayed because of the incident.
“The delay will depend on how quickly new steel can be delivered,” said Riva Cambrin.
Under the terms of the contract with the builder for the project, the MD and Town are not responsible for costs resulting from the accident.
“Our understanding on a cost perspective is there will be no cost to the MD other than staff time involved,” said Riva Cambrin. “But, for out of pocket costs, there wouldn’t be any to us.”