News / Calgary

Truss update: Moving City of Calgary employees back won't start until May

More than 500 displaced workers won't be back in their offices for months as the City of Calgary plans a slow move after issues with a truss in the building.

The city is asking employees to put their truss in the process.

Metro File Photo

The city is asking employees to put their truss in the process.

Shrouded in caution, the City of Calgary has displaced 531 employees after they discovered a 30-year-old gaffe in one of their own buildings.

In September, the city temporarily shuttered the northeast corner of Calgary’s Municipal Building after staff found that a 30-year-old truss didn't live up to current building codes. The 22-foot deep, 70,000 pound steel truss wasn’t installed correctly and although there had been no issues since 1983 employees were rushed out of their posts to ensure safety.

That was in September, and again in November. Now, six months later, the city says there's an end in sight – and a timeline for when displaced workers might find their old spaces again – but no cost estimates cemented yet.

The city’s facilities management director Thomas Hansen expects the truss work to be done by the end of April. Now, it's expected a slow and planned move back will be underway by May.

"We don't want to do it in a chaotic manner, we want to have a planned approach," Hansen said. "That will probably take two months for us to move everyone back in a planned and coordinated fashion."

He said when the news about the faulty truss broke the city moved employees out quickly and put them in every possible nook and cranny in the building before finding them a more permanent home – yes, some people moved twice. He said it was a bit disruptive for people.

Currently, the contractors are temporarily shoring around the truss and will then go in and bring it up to code.

Hansen said the work being done today will actually help future-proof the building, by bringing the design load of the building up to 2017 standards.

"It will give us more capacity going forward to have equipment and more people," Hansen said. "They're beefing up the truss."

Right now, on the outside of the building, blue safety netting is the only sign that work on the truss is underway. Hansen said if crews are doing their jobs, staff shouldn’t even know they're working on it.

More on Metronews.ca