Despite relaxed COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the Dorset Recreation Centre will remain closed until further notice following the discovery that mould and moisture issues are more extensive than originally determined.

In a report to Algonquin Highlands council at the July 15 regular council meeting, AH staff noted that testing by an environmental consultant in March found mould on some basement surfaces. A remediation company was hired to address it, but test results on May 27 showed slightly elevated mould counts.

AH staff conducted further investigations on May 28 and found additional mould in the basement washrooms and changerooms. Staff removed the affected materials and the remediation company deep-cleaned those areas. Test results received July 6 indicated mould counts were still elevated. The remediation company recommended carpet removal downstairs and upstairs and additional cleaning.

While the environmental consultant had advised that the mould issue was caused by water filtration through the foundation and a pipe leak in the ceiling, staff reported that the latest discovery indicated those were not the only sources. Frequent ice damming on the roof has caused water to enter the building in the past, so on July 7 staff cut holes in ceilings and walls in the affected locations, finding mould in several areas.

Staff reported that $19,000 has been spent on the mould issue to date, excluding any restorations, and that the full financial impact of a final resolution is unknown, but will be substantial.

Council approved the staff recommendation that professional services be procured to assess the building and provide guidance to resolve the mould and moisture issues, and that a proposed HVAC works project be put on hold until the mould issues have been addressed.

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