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According to City officials, the town quickly commissioned a health certified and qualified firm to begin immediate testing of leaked insulation which is common in many cinder block buildings from that construction era.

Samples have been obtained by the company testing the building, and upon inspection of four samples, test results showed one of the four samples contained a trace of less than 1 per cent asbestos.

Upon discovery, the town immediately shut down the arena to ensure public safety and allow for more necessary testing.

With regards to the Navigators, the Junior B hockey team, along with members of the Peace River Minor Hockey Association, was asked to remove all their belongings from the premises until further notice.

Darcy Haugan, the Navigators head coach, talked about receiving the odd news.

“It was funny because in the morning we got an e-mail from the town regarding the playoff ice allocation meeting that would be coming up, then about six hours later we were told to get our stuff out.”

The Navigators are currently working with the town of Grimshaw regarding ice times for their final two home games of the season.

Barry Himer, President of the PRMHA, talked about how he and his staff dealt with the problem.

“I’m very proud of my executive team; we were able to meet last night and come up with a plan to continue being able to operate hockey. Other than a few disruptions of practices, we should be able to play all of our scheduled games.”

Himmer also talked about the support the hockey association has received from neighbouring communities.

“I really want to give a big thank you to the surrounding communities. I’ve been getting calls from Slave Lake, Valleyview, High Prairie, Falher, Donnelly, Wembley, Spirit River and Grande Prairie, so the support has just been phenomenal.”

Further air sampling took place Thursday morning, which was followed by required professional removal and full clean up, then final testing.

Closure of the Baytex Energy Centre will continue and be reviewed Friday upon further testing.

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