As fierce winds pounded Maple Creek on Sunday, Donny White was inside the Jasper Cultural & Historical Centre.
While he worked, he could hear an ominous noise above the relentless roar of winds. Later he discovered the cause.
Part of the roof had been worked loose, finally crashing to the ground. What lay there was a huge chunk of roof membrane, sheeting, styrofoam and flashing, measuring roughly 8ft by 5ft.
On Tuesday, the Maple Creek News went to have a look. What we found was something that almost looked like space debris. It was hard not to think of the danger posed when it fell.
On the roof, a bulging piece of flashing was visible from below. What does the rest of the roof look like from above?
It is a question that White, Jasper board chairperson, and Henry Mulatz, from building and maintenance, almost dread to contemplate as they wait for insurers to make an assessment.
Equally worrisome is the thought of what could happen in a downpour. Would rain enter the historic building?
Fortunately, one of the upstairs rooms, the proposed women’s gallery, had recently been cleared of items. There are also plans to move Maple Creek News archives stored in an adjoining section that is showing signs of disrepair.
Maintaining the Jasper Centre is a challenge, which has become even greater during the COVID-19 pandemic. It usually costs about $100,000 a year to run the building and put on programming, traditionally one of the big earners.
COVID, however, has put a temporary stop to programming.
This year, there are plans to resurface the steps outside the Centre and install a wheelchair ramp. More exterior improvements are planned for 2022.