Sports center needs new roof

Posted: Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Built in 1982, the Soldotna Sports Center’s roof has seen better days, and experts agree it’s time to replace it.

“It’s been patched and patched again,” said Parks and Recreation Director Andrew Carmichael, during a report to the Soldotna City Council given by City Manager Tom Boedeker last week.

Boedeker said an architect and structural engineer who inspected the facility’s roof system determined the roof “has exceeded its useful life and requires replacement to maintain a dry facility.”

In addition to replacing what the engineers referred to as the roof membrane, structural upgrades were recommended for three areas of the roof: the section across the front of the building up to the skylight and hallway, the section over the meeting rooms and kitchen, and the section over the racquetball courts.

In the engineer’s report, it was noted that the three roof areas met building codes and design criteria at the time of construction, and current building codes do not require an upgrade.

The report, however, said actual snow loads do exceed the design standards used today.

In a memo to council members, Boedeker said the city is preparing bid documents to address the replacement of the main roof system over the hockey rink and stands.

“This alone would likely be more than $300,000,” his memo said.

During the city council meeting last week, Boedeker said he anticipates the work costing between $350,000 and $400,000.

The full report of ASCG Inc., the architectural firm that completed the inspection, included photos taken from inside the sports center during rainy weather, showing large yellow plastic trash barrels placed strategically around the front hallway of the facility to catch leaking rainwater.

For years, the skylights over the entrance to the sports center have leaked, and in the report,the engineers recommend several remedies:

n The skylights should have a condensation channel at the bottom, connected to a drain system;

n Conditioned air should be passed over the interior surface of the glazing to evaporate condensed water; and

n The skylights should be replaced with a modern, well-designed system, or the sloped skylight should be removed and replaced with a dormer roof with vertical glazing.

Of primary concern now, according to Boedeker, is the roofing system over the main arena, and he said preparing estimates and bidding the job could be done quickly, with work beginning this summer.

Other portions of the job could be separated into several projects with recommendations developed as more information becomes available, he said.

“Concerns with snow loading until that occurs can be addressed by a program of monitoring snow loads and removing snow as needed,” he said in his memo.

“The skylight is a nuisance, but we have lived with it for many years and it does not appear to be as high a priority as the other conditions noted in the report,” he said.

The engineer’s report said, “If a replacement roofing system is not installed, the general maintenance and upkeep will cost the (city) significantly and could lead to more costly interior finish repairs.”

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