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Repairs required to fix subsidence problem at Pictou County Wellness Centre

The Pictou County Wellness Centre.
The Pictou County Wellness Centre. - SaltWire File Photo

The Pictou County Wellness Centre is in need of repairs to address cracks that have been appearing in some portions of the eight-year-old building.

Chief Operating Officer Greg Smith, who was hired three months ago to run the facility, said the issue appears to have originated from a brook or stream bed that the facility was built on top of.

"It's quite wide and as deep as 20 feet in certain areas," Smith said. "When they were doing the grading they filled all that in."

Based on a report by an engineering company, staff now believe that either not enough fill was used or it wasn't packed enough, which is causing a small portion of the building to settle faster than the rest.

"Every building settles, but that one section right by the gym is settling a little bit faster than the rest of the building," Smith said.

While the building is still structurally sound and there is no danger to users at this point, it is a problem the Pictou County Wellness Center will be seeking to address. The building authority will be putting out a request for proposals in the near future with the hopes of starting repair work after the Pinty's Grand Slam curling event which is scheduled to take place in early November.

The cost of the project is unknown at this point, but Trenton Mayor Shannon MacInnis who chairs the building authority said he expects it will be well within the capital reserve fund. The municipal units in Pictou County contribute $75,000 a year to a capital reserve fund that can be used for maintenance and improvements.

"There won't be a financial impact on the community," MacInnis said.

Smith said he's reluctant to give a ball park cost until the bids come in, but he is confident that there will be enough to cover the costs.

Based on the reports he's received from the engineers, Smith said they don't believe they will have to dig underneath the building, but rather will be able to tie into existing supports. Most of the work will be done inside and some small portions of the building will be enclosed while the repairs are made.

"We're going to be enclosing part of the walk way by the Y and part of the gymnasium," Smith said, adding that the gym will still be functional.

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