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Repairs needed on Youth Centre

Dez Loreen
Northern News Services
Thursday, August 16, 2007

INUVIK - The staff of the Inuvik Youth Centre want to keep their current location, but Town Council may have to move them, due to foundation problems.

NNSL Photo/Graphic

Sarah Earley, co-director of the Inuvik Youth Centre says she thinks the current location is best for the local youth. Earlier this week, the centre went through some renovations to increase the size of their kitchen. - Dez Loreen/NNSL photo

The pilings holding up the building need to be replaced.

The Town of Inuvik owns the building on Mackenzie Street that houses the centre. It leases the building to the youth centre for a dollar a year.

The lease expires in December and centre co-director Sarah Earley asked council last week to extend their lease for a five-year period.

"We have a lot going on here for the youth," said Earley.

Earley wants the centre to stay in its current location on main street.

"It's good, because we get assistance from other organizations in watching over the youth," said Earley.

"If the centre was moved to somewhere with less traffic, it might not be as safe for the youth."

But it was brought to the attention of council that the pilings under the youth centre may need to be replaced soon.

Private contractor Vince Sharpe made a presentation to council, stating that his company could do the work this year, at cost, and was willing to wait until the next fiscal year for payment.

According to Sharpe, out of the 39 pilings holding the building up, 23 failed the inspection done by a third party engineer.

"That building needs to be cross-braced laterally," said Sharpe.

According to Sharpe, supporting the building with blocks would only be temporary.

"Block it and repair it with new pilings, or shut it down," said Sharpe. "It's that serious."

Sharpe and his team recently replaced the pilings at the library building. Sharpe quoted the price per pile to be $1,950.

Town of Inuvik Senior Administrative Officer Jerry Veltman said that the town is going to ask for a second opinion on the state of the pilings, before deciding on what to do in the matter.

"The next step is to get more information on the building, to assess what the building needs," said Veltman.

Veltman added that the youth centre has had the building since 1996.

Veltman said that the estimate for replacing the pilings at the centre is around $80,000.

"The decision will be left to council," said Veltman.

Deputy Mayor Chris Larocque said the costs will be looked at, but the centre may be moved to a new location.

"That building is in dire need of repair," he said.

"There is not enough information in front of council, so it has been deferred to the meeting on Sept. 10."

Earley said she believes that the location is what the youth need and that it is worth the amount to keep the centre operating in its current space.

"To up and move us at this moment would interrupt a lot of new programs starting up," she said.

"I think it's a good location. This place is equally as important as the library."