Shaw Court closed for renovations until next summer

Shaws' downtown Calgary office will be closed for renovations for a year as it recovers from last month's explosion and fire.

July's fire caused extensive water damage to the building

A small fire at the Shaw building downtown damaged infrastructure and affected internet service for many in the city back in July, including emergency services. (Submitted by Michael Welter)

Shaw’s downtown Calgary office will be closed for renovations for a year as it recovers from last month's explosion and fire.

More than 900 employees have been forced out of Shaw Court while the renovations take place.

Katherine Emberly, Shaw's vice-president, said the scope of the renovations meant everyone had to leave.

"We're expecting ... for people to be back in that building next summer," Emberly said.

The big move comes after a fire in an electrical room on the 13th floor activated the sprinkler system, resulting in water damage throughout the building.

However, Emberly said relocating staff wasn’t too much of an issue.

"We were really lucky that Calgary is our hometown and we have seven other buildings here in Calgary," Emberly said. "Within a few days, we were able to move all 900 of the employees from Shaw Court to other locations in Calgary."

Several radio stations that were in the building are also moving to other locations.

There's no cost estimate for the renovations in the building, which will be extensive.

Emberly says they still don't know the cause of the explosion which temporarily knocked out Shaw service downtown and disrupted IBM computers that carried a number of provincial government services.

She says it's too early to speculate on whether backup computer systems, which were in the building, will still be there when the renovations are completed next summer.