Future in question for East Hants Sportsplex Dome

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LANTZ: The dome at the East Hants Sportsplex is deflated indefinitely.

After collapsing in a mix of wintry weather on Nov. 28, General Manager of the sportsplex, Scott Forward says for now, it’s staying down.

“The dome will remain out of use pending an independent investigation regarding the future safety of the structure,” he said the morning after an emergency board meeting. “We will be out of service for a significant, indefinite period.”

This is the third failure of the dome, and the largest in terms of damage. Because of this, the board of directors and sportsplex staff are launching an investigation into the future of the recreation facility.

While it is something no one wants to see happen, Forward said there isn’t much in way of other options.

“We realize situation is certainly not ideal for clients and our users, and their members,” he said. “We cannot, in good faith, put this dome back in the air knowing that at the very next weather occurrence we have, we could be right back in this same situation.

“We can’t suffer three failures and not be responsible to investigate why.”

The dome is called home by many organizations and is used daily. Clubs like East Hants Soccer Club, Enfield Rugby Club, Football Nova Scotia, an ultimate frisbee group, and a seniors’ walking group have all been displaced.

“Most of our users are volunteer organizations so they pout a lot of time and effort into creating programming for our community and our youth and when they are scrambling,” said Forward. “That’s a very stressful environment for those folks to try to come up with alternative arrangements.”

Forward said they’re incredibly disappointed that the collapse has impacted all users.

“Myself, the board, and my staff are very keenly aware of that and we regret that this impacts them significantly, it’s just not fair, but at this time to put this in particular structure back in the air would be irresponsible without understanding what’s going on,” he said.

Right now, the investigation is just beginning, and Forward couldn’t speculate on the outcome, but says as of right now, nothing is off the table.

“Different solutions are a possibility and something that will get discussed, but we have definitely lost confidence in the ability of this particular structure to sustain the weather patterns that we currently have,” he said.

Check back for more updates and comments from different groups.