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Windy weather turns tiny tear into major maintenance

A small rip in the Sportsplex roof that has existed since November became a major problem after last Friday's windy weather.
June 17, 2015 - 5:19 PM

PENTICTON - Last Friday’s windy weather turned a small problem into a major concern at Penticton’s only indoor soccer field.

A rip in the roof at Penticton’s Adidas Sportsplex has suddenly became a huge, open tear  after a windstorm on Friday, June 12, but Ezra Cremers, head coach and executive director of the Pinnacles Football Club says it could have been worse.

“I try to be a positive guy, I’m happy it happened in the summer," he says. "We have time to repair it. If it had opened up in winter, it would have been chaos." 

Cremers said the rip was first noticed in the roof on Nov. 23, 2014. A 10- to 12-foot-long tear opened up along the seam and the city was notified right away. They deemed the building safe at that time, and began to investigate how they might repair the tear.

That tear slowly got bigger until last Friday when it got a whole lot bigger.

“It’s now 30 feet along the seam and it’s also gone across the rib - I’d say it’s opened up a hole about 30 by 15 feet,” Cremers said.

Two sections of roofing are now exposed. A heavy rain will bring water down the building’s interior drywall where the electrical boxes are located. Cremers is concerned about what might happen should we get a heavy rain or another high wind.

More than 600 users, including youth and adult, use the facility in the winter months.

“I’m hoping it will be repaired by October 1, when all the sports user groups begin using it again,” he said. “However, if it does rain again, there will be further damage, in my opinion. I would have liked to have seen a short term fix of the rip when it was shorter, but I’m not a roofing specialist. I’m going to give the city the benefit of the doubt.”

Interim Penticton city manager Chuck Loewen said the current agreement the city has with the Pinnacles Football team is in the last stages of being amended, making it somewhat unclear as to who is responsible for the cost of repairs to the roof. The city and the Pinnacles Football Club have been working towards a new agreement since late 2013, however  Loewen said he believes the two parties are close to an agreement that will spell out maintenance terms and provide easier terms for the club to repay the mortgage held by the city.

The city had been working with insurers to determine the validity of an insurance claim with either the city or Pinnacle's insurance provider. In late February, the insurance companies ruled the damage was not insurable, and the city had been gathering estimates for repairs as late as the end of May.

Loewen said even though responsibility for the cost of repairing or replacing the roof was in a grey area at the moment, the city would not ignore the issue. He said the city has worked out a plan to temporarily patch the roof at a cost of approximately $15,000, with the intention of including cost of replacement of the roof in next year’s budget. He said the city was disappointed the current roof only lasted seven years, but there was no recourse for the city because the installer has gone out of business.

In the meantime, Cremers said if the rain holds off, that will buy the city and all parties involved the time to fix it, and make a serious issue back into a small one.

There have been no event cancellations in the building as a result of the rip, as usage generally drops off as soon as weather allows outdoor field use.

“Another big windstorm - the gap is so big - what does that mean? I’m not a physicist... but I’m concerned now, because the whole underneath between the two roof layers is exposed.... I’m definitely concerned. So I’m looking forward to it getting fixed sooner, rather than later,” he said.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2015

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