FORT ST. JOHN, B.C -The City of Fort St. John puts exterior North Peace Arena upgrades on hold after discovering arena repairs are needed.

The city has halted the upgrades for a repair and remediation plan to be developed for the structural repairs required on the roof. Plans are being created so that the repairs are completed before the 2021/2022 ice season.

The city says a detailed analysis and inspections are underway following an initial inspection.

“The health and safety of our users, residents and employees is paramount. We are thankful that the issue was noticed while the exterior upgrades were in process and that due to the pandemic, this does not create additional challenges for our user groups,” states Milo MacDonald, Chief Administrative Officer.

During a January 25th meeting, council green-lit the COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream application process to replace the Air Handling Unit, roofing upgrades and lighting upgrades at the arena. If accepted, the grant will fully fund the estimated $859,000 project.

According to Urban Systems, the costs are estimated at $385,000 for the roof replacement, $302,000 for the lighting replacement, $37,000 for the air unit and $35,000 for the roof exhaust fans.

Last year, the city budgeted over $1 million for the exterior upgrades that have been paused. The city is replacing the fascia, downspouts, flashing and eavestroughs.

The building is currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the reduced demand for ice.

A repair and remediation plan will be presented to council soon.