St. Mary's Boat Club to be raised due to climate change fears
Halifax to repair flood-damaged seawall and fund feasibility study for project
The Halifax Regional Municipality wants to raise St. Mary's Boat Club by about 60 centimetres to prevent flooding from storm surges, something that has become a recurring problem for the facility.
The city is trying to stay a few steps ahead of climate change by lifting the flood-prone building.
When the weather warms up, the Halifax Regional Municipality plans to repair the crumbling seawall next to the St. Mary's Boat Club along the Northwest Arm.
The 95-year-old facility is used for meetings and weddings but it needs work. It's not easily accessible by those in wheelchairs and climate change keeps causing problems.
Richard MacLellan, the manager of sustainable planning for the Halifax Regional Municipality, said the city will spend $200,000 on the seawall as well as a feasibility study.
"We'll get floods periodically with storm surges, a couple of feet — which we've had a few occasions when we have a storm surge, had a high tide — where we'll have to go in and replace the insulation and drywall and things like that," he said.
"We also need to, in the few years coming, replace some of the cribbing work underneath the building. As such, that gives us an opportunity to look at jacking up the building so that we can alleviate that flooding risk."
The project won't take place before 2016.
The Halifax Rowing Club uses this facility between May and October — but they've been told whenever the work takes place it won't affect their season.
"We do know that the building, when it is raised, then there will have to be adjustments to the ramps that go from the boathouse down to the water," said Jonathan Tyson with the Halifax Rowing Club.
"They'll all need to be lengthened."
Tyson welcomes a more accessible boat club.
"People who have a limited ability to use stairs — it makes it much more difficult for them to come and row here," he said.
The estimated cost of lifting the boathouse is up to $1 million. City officials said they aren't worried because buildings are regularly lifted off their foundations without problems.