Fire hall roof in danger of collapse

The existing roof was built over top of the old roof in the mid-1990s as a cheap, short-term solution

The roof of the Willow Point Fire Hall is leaking and could be on the verge of collapse.

The existing roof was built over top of the old roof in the mid-1990s as a cheap, short-term solution that has now run its course.

“The roof is now experiencing intermittent leakage in several areas and is showing signs of major blistering and imminent complete failure,” said Clinton Crook, the city’s assistant purchasing agent, in a report to city council. “Continuing to operate this facility without undertaking the work will result in ongoing and escalating repair costs to interior and exterior finishes due to water damage and the potential for a major roof failure.”

Taking that into account, council voted at its regular meeting Sept. 18 to pay for a new roof for the No. 2 Larwood Road fire hall, which serves the area south of Rockland Road and has 30 paid on-call firefighters.

Replacing the roof will require removing the old roofing membrane and installing a new, two-ply torch on the membrane.

The new roof, which will be installed by Nelson Roofing and Sheet Metal Ltd. for $117,002, is expected to last for 20-30 years.

Nelson Roofing, based out of the Comox Valley, was also tasked with replacing the main roof at the downtown Fire Hall, the lower roof of the Dogwood Operations Centre as well as the roof on the centre’s equipment shed last December.

Similar to the Willow Point Fire Hall, the downtown Fire Hall’s roof was also installed in the 1990s and had been leaking in several areas. For the No. 2 hall, city staff looked at more creative roofing options.

“Staff explored options for installing alternative roofing systems such as a green roof but it was deemed impractical due to structural limitations of the building,” Crook said.

A portion of the funding for the new roof – to the tune of $90,000 – will come from the city’s  Tax Stabilization Reserve.

The rest of the funding is already included in the city’s financial plan thanks to less than expected maintenance costs at city hall.

“Sufficient funds are available from the existing 2012 Capital Plan as the replacement cost for the passenger elevator at city hall will be less than budgeted, making this acquisition possible without amending the financial plan,” Crook said.