By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday August 20, 2014
Crucial stadium inspection will take five days
The city building department expects to spend five days inspecting the city’s new football stadium before pronouncing it ready — or not — for a fast-approaching Sept. 1 game.
That timeline adds to the deadline pressure facing the beleaguered builder of the $145-million stadium as well as the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The team doesn’t have a local backup venue for the much-anticipated Labour Day classic.
Chief building official Ed VanderWindt said Monday he has two inspectors “on call” to begin a marathon study of the 22,500-seat stadium as soon as the contractor applies for an occupancy permit.
“There is a lot of ground to cover … It’s not just one big walkabout and you’re done,” said VanderWindt, who has scheduled five days for the inspection.
While inspectors could eyeball the stadium in two or three days, the city’s building boss said the extra time accounts for document review and any required repairs.
The two inspectors will roam the city-block-sized venue dozens of times, said VanderWindt, because each critical element — sprinklers, fire exits or hand rails, for example — requires a dedicated walk-about.
VanderWindt said it’s not practical to assign more eyes to the stadium because not all parts of the building will be ready to inspect at the same time.
But he noted a team of in-house engineers will simultaneously be reviewing documents certifying everything from electrical work to structural integrity to fire safety.
The chosen inspectors — whom VanderWindt declined to identify — have a history with the building, including one dedicated to the stadium full-time.
“What I can say is our staff feel very privileged to be part of this project. I think everyone recognizes the pressure there is to make sure everything is done on time, but for our part I can say we’re keeping on top of it and looking forward to getting it done.”
The contractor, Ontario Sports Solutions, maintains the building will be ready for Sept. 1, but the building department hadn’t received an occupancy permit application by the end of the business day Monday.
But VanderWindt said building inspectors will work weekends if necessary, meaning a permit could still be granted by next Monday. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)
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