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Beeton Memorial Arena won’t be open this winter

July 28, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

A building condition assessment completed on Beeton Memorial Arena by Accent Building Sciences Inc. will result in the arena ceasing operations this winter.

A report delivered to New Tecumseth council identified deficiencies in the building structure, mechanical and electrical, refrigeration, substructure, and shell of the building.

The noted deficiencies triggered a high-lever structural assessment, particularly on the roof truss system over the arena floor.

The Truss Condition Assessment was completed in May 2023 by Tacoma Engineers. The arena truss system consists of built-up wood members combined with steel rods for tensioning.

The findings of the assessment show that each truss bottom shows significant buckling near the exterior walls. This buckling indicates that the arena trusses have experienced structural failure from a structural engineering standpoint.

This is defined as a structural failure even though a catastrophic collapse has not occurred.

Based on this report, there is no immediate danger; however, catastrophic failure could occur without adequate measures to rectify the situation.

The situation will be particularly dangerous during winter as failure is at a higher risk when snow accumulation on the roof increases the forces on the truss system. This could potentially worsen the buckling condition of the trusses, at which point the trusses are at risk of collapse.

The report further states that there is a limited window of opportunity available to reinforce and repair the roof trusses. Upon completion of properly engineered truss reinforcement and new X-bracing installed between the trusses, the building can be expected to function for many years. Additionally, reviewing all connections, tightening or replacing missing washer and barrel nuts is recommended.

Top chord and minor web reinforcement are also required.

The Beeton Memorial Arena was constructed in 1947, with an addition to the building completed in 1977. In 1983, the roof system was replaced, along with reinforcement of the main truss arches, to ensure that the roof was operating safely.

In order to satisfy the recommendation provided in the Truss Condition Assessment, it is necessary to obtain a design for the new X-bracing system.

The repair of the roof truss system will only satisfy that specific deficiency and not the complete scope of repairs as identified in the Building Condition Assessment.

Other structural deficiencies identified include concrete columns and beams and concrete unit masonry wall systems.

An optimistic timeline for the completion of the repairs would be a return to regular ice operations for the 2024-25 season.

Four options are being considered.

These include a new X-bracing system with reinforcement expected to cost up to $300,000 and possibly more.

Completion of all identified structural deficiencies, including concrete columns and beams and the masonry wall system, comes at a cost of up to $1,055,000.

The third option is to complete all noted deficiencies in the Building Condition Assessment and Truss Condition Assessment with a multi-year phased approach.

Option four is to close the arena indefinitely with future consideration for demolition at an estimated cost of $300,000.

As is typical with arenas, the Beeton Arena has been operating at a deficit in recent years, and this is anticipated to continue in 2023.

At council’s discretion, should demolition be recommended, the savings realized by the removal of the operating costs could be moved into a reserve for a new future facility.

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