Sprinker Recreation Center avoids closure

Pierce County’s Building Official has rescinded his order to close the Sprinker Recreation Center after a more detailed inspection of the roof revealed “no immediate cause for structural concern.”

The findings by PCS Structural Solutions affirm that the scaled-down repair plan being developed by Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy remains on track.

“This is positive news,” Executive McCarthy said. “Now that we have a better idea of the issues to deal with, I am assembling a team to scope out the project. This report confirms that we can continue to provide recreational services in the building while we develop the plan to replace the roof and the rink and address other critical needs.”

Fall programming in the building will continue as planned.

Last month, the County Council passed a resolution authorizing the Executive to proceed with her plan to make basic repairs to keep 34-year-old Sprinker open. The resolution authorizes $6.1 million for a new roof and structural and mechanical fixes.

That plan was contingent in part upon a review by PCS engineers, hired by the county to perform a detailed, independent analysis of the building’s rusting roof. Engineers examined the steel roof trusses and the metal roof deck from both sides. Inside the building, they went up in a lift and examined the areas with the most rust. Outside, they removed roofing in two locations and examined the top of the metal deck.

At first glance, the rust appears to be significant. But engineers used a steel brush to clean a section of the metal deck and found “a sound metal base.” PCS engineers concluded that the rust “is not an immediate concern” and that the Building Official could rescind the Notice of Intent for closure.

The Building Official, Gordon Aleshire of the Planning and Land Services Department, accompanied the PCS engineers during the inspection, and he reviewed their report. He agreed with the recommendation and issued a letter rescinding the order on Aug. 14.