Water restored to parts GR Pearkes Rec Centre in Saanich following flood caused by broken pipe

WatchA water main that burst has closed the library G. R. Pearkes Recreation Centre. Last night staff discovered water pouring out of a bathroom, when they opened the door the entire area full of books flooded. Julian Kolsut reports.

The District of Saanich says Saanich Centennial Library will be closed until further notice due to a broken water pipe.

A flood caused by the pipe was discovered overnight into Friday in the mechanical room of the Saanich Centennial Library.

“we were thinking it was about 700-litres per second so it was a huge impact,” said Kelli-ann Armstrong, Saanich Recreation Senior manager.

The pipe burst under the foundation in the bathroom/mechanical room. When staff opened the door late last night, a massive amount of water poured in.

“The water main had broke it was initially contained to a small bathroom and mechanical room, but upon further notice, it was actually seeping up the wall to about four feet in the bathroom itself… staff opened up the door and of-course there was huge flood that happened in the library,” said Armstrong.

The aftermath of a burst water pipe at the G.R. Pearkes Recreation Centre in Saanich on Aug. 23, 2019.

The aftermath of a burst water pipe at the G.R. Pearkes Recreation Centre in Saanich on Aug. 23, 2019.

Water had been shut off completely earlier Friday but just after 3:30 p.m., the district announced water has been restored to parts of the centre.

The sections of the facility that will be re-opening as of Sat. August 24 for regular hours (7 a.m. – 6 p.m.) are:

  • Gold and Green Arenas (and attached change-rooms)
  • Gold and Green lobby washrooms
  • Fieldhouse
  • Fitness Centre
  • Gardom Room
  • Ross Room
  • Flipside Teen Centre

Washroom facilities will be limited to the Green and Gold arenas. The Saanich Neighbourhood Place Hallway (including the Owen and Lam rooms), Fitness change-rooms, Fitness upper-level washroom  and the Fieldhouse washrooms will remain closed until further notice. Programs and rentals outside these areas will resume as scheduled Saturday morning.

No books or other items in the Saanich Archives vault were damaged. Remediation assessments will be taking place in the Saanich Archives, which will remain closed.

“With the Saanich archives collection being here at the library branch that was a concern as well, staff were able to lift anything on the floor off the floor, and most of the collection was on selves,” said Armstrong.

The Saanich Centennial Library will be closed and assessed independently. The district said a lengthy closure is anticipated and the public is encouraged to visit the Emily Carr Branch at Uptown Shopping Centre.

“We are all part owners of Capital City Hockey Development, it’s a hockey camp for youth…. Friday unfortunately is the day of scrimmages and having fun on the ice and using the skills we’ve been able to teach them so its unfortunate this has happened,” said James Pollock.

“[I come] about twice a week, read three books a week and I didn’t hear about this and I am shocked, totally shocked. What books I can’t find anywhere else they bring in for me, they are really good,” said library patron De Morris.


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