Nova Scotia

Steamroller slams into former school in East Hants

Routine work regrading the driveway and parking lot of the Nova Centre in East Hants came to an abrupt halt Wednesday when a steamroller went off course and struck the side of the building.

‘Right now we don’t know how long the building will be closed’

A steamroller struck the side of the Nova Centre in Elmsdale, N.S., on Wednesday. The building is the former Elmsdale school. (Submitted by Jody MacArthur)

Routine work regrading the driveway and parking lot of a former school in Elmsdale, N.S., came to an abrupt halt Wednesday when a steamroller went off course and struck the side of the building, damaging a wall.

The building, which is now called the Nova Centre, is owned by the Municipality of East Hants. It leases it to the East Hants Family Resource Centre, along with the East Hants Community Learning and Community Rider organizations.

Much of the building is empty, according to municipal spokesperson Jody MacArthur.

It's not clear what caused the steamroller to hit the building. No one was inside the centre when it was struck and the steamroller driver wasn't hurt.

"It's an accident, that's all I can say right now, I don't know how the roller made contact with the building," said MacArthur. 

The building is closed until further notice.

"We just want to make sure that it's safe," said MacArthur. "Right now we don't know how long the building will be closed. We do hope it's not too long."

Municipality talking with insurance company

A structural engineer was brought in to assess the damage and determined the building is structurally sound. 

But the municipality decided to shut the centre down because the damage caused a hole that exposed the inside of the building.  

MacArthur didn't know how many people will be impacted by the building's closure. 

"We're going to work with the tenants in the building to make sure they can go in and retrieve their necessary equipment so that they continue to operate, because they have a number of clients that they do deal with," she said. 

The municipality will be speaking with the groups Thursday to try and hammer out a long-term solution. In the meantime, MacArthur said the municipality is talking with its insurance company to figure out the next move.

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