UPDATED: Ladner Leisure Centre collapse closes arena

A portion of the Ladner Leisure Centre has collapsed, closing the arena until further notice.

A section of the building's facade detached and came crashing down to the ground near the facility's back parking lot Thursday morning.

According to Corporation of Delta Chief Administrative Office George Harvie, an engineering firm is now conducting an assessment of the damage and is preparing to undertake demolition and stabilization works on the exterior facade throughout the weekend.

Delta has hired 24-hour security to keep people away from the affected areas until it is cleaned up.

The weight room, cycle-fit studio, ice arena, and rear parking lot remain closed until further notice. The customer service area and all pools at the Ladner Leisure Centre remain open under their normal hours of operation.

Meanwhile, staff will collaborate with sport user groups affected by the temporary ice arena closure early next week in an effort to make alternate arrangements.

The Delta Ice Hawks of the Pacific Junior Hockey League call the arena home and are currently in the middle of a playoff series with the North Vancouver Wolf Pack. The Junior B hockey club is scheduled to play North Vancouver tonight (Friday) on the road, but the team is currently unable to access any of their gear stored in the arena, says general manager Peter Zerbinos.

"Right now, we have no jerseys, no equipment, no water bottles, no pucks," he said.

Zerbinos said the team was told by the Corporation of Delta that engineers will need to assess the structural safety of the building before allowing anyone inside to retrieve the gear.

"We're hoping to be able to do that tomorrow, but right now, we don't know," he said.

The Ice Hawks next home game is scheduled for this Tuesday, but that game may have to be rescheduled and played elsewhere, Zerbinos said.

The arena is also the training facility for the WHL's Vancouver Giants. The team is currently on the road in Alberta, and are scheduled to return home on Saturday, March 1.

The Giants' Vice President of Operation Peter Toigo said the team will be able practice at  Pacific Coliseum, where the team plays its home games, and doesn't anticipate any disruptions.

Nobody was injured in the collapse, which happened at approximately 10:30 a.m.

Delta Mayor Lois Jackson said she was shocked to learn of the building's partial collapse.

"All of our buildings are really well taken care of, so we're having difficulty understanding why there was no indication something like this might happen," said Jackson. "There were no cracks, no moss, no pooling of water. This wasn't a case of neglect, which is why everyone is so surprised."

The building is close to 30 years old, and had its roof replaced more than five years ago.

Jackson said Delta Council hopes to get an engineering report back from staff in time for Monday's council meeting in North Delta which will outline what happened, and how it can be fixed.

While the investigation is in the preliminary stages, Jackson said it appears the damage isn't structural.

"It's like the siding on your house," she said. "It's not like there were collapsed steel girders."


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