Guild wall falls

Something brought the house down at the Guild Hall this week, but not in a good way. One of the facility’s outer walls collapsed into a…

Something brought the house down at the Guild Hall this week, but not in a good way.

One of the facility’s outer walls collapsed into a parking lot that is usually full of cars.

Jenny Hamilton, the Guild’s general manager, discovered the damage when she arrived Wednesday morning.

“The recent, wet snowfall probably pulled it down once too much snow accumulated in the eaves,” said Eric Epstein, the Guild’s artistic director.

A full, retrofitted, stud wall, with a double layer of insulation, it was built when the Guild was initially established 25 years ago. Still standing is the vapour barrier and the old barracks wall, hinting at the building’s colourful past.

Purchased from the Porter Creek community association for $1, the two army barracks, previously housing local bingos, were transformed into the Guild Hall with the help of volunteer carpenters and some funding from Ottawa.

About 10 years ago, the dance studio and annex, currently used for Guild rehearsals and by the Northern Lights School of Dance, were added.

Tina Woodland, Guild treasurer for more than seven years, is checking into their insurance policy.

“I have called the insurance adjuster, to see if it can be claimed and to see if our deductible is higher or lower than the repair costs,” she said.

Although their $5,000 deductible is quite high, she assumes the costs to repair the wall will exceed this sum.

To cover the repairs, the Guild plans to fundraise and possibly apply for a grant.

It has missed the deadline to apply for a city recreation grant, although it did apply for its usual $10,000 to cover annual lighting and heating.

Woodland said the plan is to try to salvage as much lumber and insulation as possible from the fallen wall.

“This is the first major structural problem we’ve had,” she said. “It is definitely bigger than the furnace shutting off.”

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