Centre Chevalier in Falher needs community support with building repairs

The studio of the French language radio station in the Centre Chevaliers Centre suffered water damage at the end of July. Fortunately, new studio equipment on order had not yet arrived.

Tom Henihan
Express Staff

Any kind of leaking roof or breach in a wall that allows rainwater to penetrate can cause pervasive damage to a building.

Everything water touches becomes a conduit along which it runs, damaging areas a good distance from the point of entry.

The Centre Chevaliers is now contending with such a scenario with an ongoing leaking roof issue and the discovery last May that the façade is letting in water when there are strong winds and rain.

“We got someone to fix the roof six years ago, $28,000 it cost us,” says Centre Chevaliers manager, Esther Picard. “A year and a half later it was starting to drip again so we called them back and ‘not our problem,’ they said.”

In March 2018, when water began coming in on the north side of the building they discovered a large snow bank had accumulated in one of the building’s three attics.

Centre Chevaliers did manage to receive some compensation from the insurance company for the damage to the interior of the building.

This creates a dilemma, because the Centre Chevaliers must first raise the funds to fix the exterior before there is any point in spending the insurance claim on repairing the interior damage.

The cost to fix the façade is $75,000 and the roof $45,000, so a temporary but dependable solution must be found until Centre Chevaliers raises $120,000 to repair the exterior of the building.

Centre Chevaliers is reaching out to businesses and individuals in the community asking them to donate funds towards the maintenance of the building.

The centre is also asking local trades’ people to donate their time and skills towards fixing some of the immediate problems.

For those who want to help, now is an ideal time to work on repairs as the centre has no bookings throughout the month of August.

However, there are wedding parties scheduled in September and Smoky River Dance Society, which is now resident in the building, needs to lay a floor and get ready for their students when dance classes reconvene in the fall.

Because water damage continues to undermine a structure if not addressed immediately, it is a matter of some urgency that those who are willing to help get in touch with Esther Picard at the Centre Chevaliers as quickly as possible.

Apart from its significance as a venue for community events, it is important to note that the Centre Chevaliers is also a designated emergency centre in the case of a major crisis such as wildfires, flooding etc.

Anyone wishing to contribute funds towards the maintenance of the Centre Chevaliers or donate their time and expertise should call Esther Picard at 780-837.6704 or send an email to sdccrlp@live.ca

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