British Columbia

No injuries after gym roof collapses in New Westminster

The roof of a 10,000-square foot gym in New Westminster collapsed Monday night under the weight of heavy snow.

The 10,000-square foot Queen's Park Arenex was built in 1938

The roof of New Westminster's Queen's Park Arenex collapsed on the evening of Dec. 19, 2016 because of heavy snowfall. (Jonathan X. Cote)

The roof of a 10,000-square foot gym in New Westminster collapsed Monday night under the weight of heavy snow. 

The Queen's Park Arenex, which was built in 1938, will likely have to be demolished, said New Westminster Mayor Jonathan Cote.

"The building has definitely received some extensive damage. I visited the site, and I don't believed it's going to be repairable, based on the damage I did see," he said.

The building was well-used, but Cote said there were no injuries because staff evacuated the Arenex hours before the roof collapsed at 9 p.m. PT.

"Thankfully, staff at the Arenex had identified issues with the building much earlier in the day, and the building had been fully cleared and the building evacuated many hours before this collapse," he said.

Cote said the roof had been replaced within the last five years, "but I guess the older building, combined with the really heavy snow conditions ... were too much for an older structure that was built in an era with different building standards."

The gym was particularly well-known for its gymnastic and trampoline programs. Cote said crews will work to see what equipment will be salvaged.

"Definitely many, many residents use that building, and it will be a big loss in our community."

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