Active Living Centre damage still being assessed

Less than six months after the University of Manitoba’s Active Living Centre (ALC) opened its doors, activities at the recreation centre were disrupted for three days in late August as a result of flooding.

The state-of-the-art recreational facility suffered water damage to the basement and elevators resulting from an Aug. 22 storm. Investigation determined 17 inches of water pooled in the basement after one of two water leaders meant to divert water from the facility’s roof to a storm sewer failed.

The failure was revealed the evening of the rainstorm when an elevator called to the second floor from the basement opened its doors and a large amount of water poured out, according to a report presented to the school’s board of governors at its Sept. 22 meeting.

The ALC was closed to the public pending cleanup and required numerous emergency repairs before it could be re-opened, said the report.

Simon Wang, facilities director for the faculty of kinesiology and recreation management, said the flood caused only temporary damages to the facility.

“The rainfall experienced in August and September caused no lasting physical damage to the facility,” he said.

The incident flooded the mechanical room in the basement of the building, which houses the section of pipe where the failure occurred. The submergence led to the failure of numerous pumps and motors that control heating and cooling in the facility.

Lori Clayson, assistant to Jaret Klymchuck, physical plant’s director of architectural and engineering services, said damage was contained to the mechanical room area in the basement.

The room houses three of the building’s nine air-handling units, serving the main floor, the Bison strength and conditioning area and the 200-level multipurpose rooms; associated heat exchangers and circulating pumps; equipment for the building’s two elevators; and half the unit’s voice, data, and electrical distribution.

Seven heating and eight cooling pumps were affected, said Clayson. Following the flood, the affected pumps and motors were cleaned, tested and restarted to restore airflow to the building. Of the 15, six could not be restarted and have since been repaired.

Six sump-pumps have also been replaced. Nearly half the building’s electrical distribution was affected but it is all running and must be re-certified by the provincial department of labour, said Clayson.

While the total cost of the flood is still being tabulated, the report to the board of governors called it “an insured loss that will easily exceed CURIE’s [Canadian Universities Reciprocal Insurance Exchange] $250,000 property deductible.”

Klymchuk said the flood was contained to the Active Living Centre alone and necessary measures have been put in place to avert future floods.

“Total costs are still being assessed,” he said. “The flood only affected the Active Living Centre; the issue is localized to that facility.

“The university has reviewed the possible causes and has taken quick action to remedy the situation. An additional storm water system will be put in place starting as early as fall 2015.”