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Another devastating blow for Unity's curling arena

The latest engineering news on Unity's curling arena was a devastating blow compounding an already sad situation for the recreation venue and its users.

UNITY — Unity’s curling club was rocked by the sudden closure announced in January, resulting from the discovery of structural problems. The news abruptly ended their season which was set to host a number of bonspiels in the busier part of the second half of the season.

Hopes were that an affordable solution could be found however that was not to be.

 “We have received the bad news for our curling rink. The engineers are experts on the glulam beams that comprise the ceiling span of the building,” Mayor Sharon Del Frari, tells the Unity-Wilkie Press-Herald and

“The beams have stood strong for over 50 years. Now the beam just out from the arena, and the one next to it are failing.”

The mayor goes on to say that engineers describe the first one, about 20 feet away from the arena, as a catastrophic failure.

“An inspection was done on the building in 2017 but the attic was not inspected. There were cracks in two areas low on the beams at that time. This was thought to have been caused by the ground shifting and steps were taken to shore the outside wall. The attic in the curling rink was accessed once we contracted for removal of the bats that had made the area their home.”

The town of Unity also reports that over time and with different engineering firms, they are now at a point where the curling rink has been deemed not safe to access.

“The amount required to bring it back to use will be over one million with taxes,” Del Frari adds.

“This is not in the budget for the town of Unity. We have been checking into the possibility of a partial fix over time. We have asked our local MLA and MP if there are any grants available to support this. We should hear from them in the next week.”

The news was an additional gut punch to an already sad situation. Early in 2023, the town and the UCC announced that the curling rink was closed indefinitely while solving the structural problem was investigated. Curling club executives and curling enthusiasts are left with decisions on their future because of the engineers’ findings.

We have reached out to the Unity Curling Club for comment and are awaiting their response.

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