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Council to decide future of Anzac Community Hall

Last Updated Sep 16, 2019 at 9:01 pm MDT

PHOTO. A picture of Anzac Community Hall from an assessment from CMG Engineering, which conducted an inspection of the building's structure, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and other concerns. Supplied by the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

(CLARIFICATION: According to the Anzac Recreation & Social Society, the flooding in December 2017 was the result of a break-in, not from a possible cost-saving measure stated in an earlier version of this article.)

RMWB Council scheduled a special meeting for Anzac on Sept. 16, 2019.

Originally booked for Sept. 24, Council elected to reschedule due to a conflict.

Mayor, council and members of administration planned to attend the Sept. 25-27 Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) Annual Conference in Edmonton.

In order to accommodate, Council voted to reschedule the Anzac meeting in the previous council meeting on Sept. 10.


Council will hear a motion from administration recommending the teardown of Anzac Community Hall and future options for the land.

One option entails selling the land to the Anzac Recreation & Social Society (AR&SS).

At that point, the community would determine the possibility of a new hall.

Construction of the old Anzac Community Hall finished in 1992.

According to Hall staff, excessive heat in the upper areas, thanks to older insulation, caused ice damming on the roof in the winter.

However, in December 2017, during a reported break-in of the Community Hall the main power went offline.

Subsequently, heating and HVAC in the Hall also went offline.

In an event called ‘The Flood’, a water main broke and flooded the Hall.

Over the next year, service reports from contractors hired by AR&SS and the RMWB produced conflicting evidence.

Moreover, the costs of repairs and renovations ranged between $375,000 to $2,375,270.75

The Municipality’s contractor, Stantec, estimated the cost of replacing the building with a new Hall at $2.94-million.

When an inspection by the Chief Building Safety Codes Officer found various amounts of mould throughout the Hall, everyone decided demolition was the best course of action.

The cost to demolish the Hall is $335,000.

Furthermore, the administration suggested if there is a rebuild, the Hall should not duplicate the services of the Anzac Recreation Centre.

Community connection

Anzac has a strong connection to the Community Hall.

Several community members from Anzac, Fort McMurray, and Wood Buffalo argue for a rebuilt Hall.

AR&SS received letters of support from AHS, Waypoints, nearby Bill Woodward school, and Willow Lake Métis Nation.

“We believe this is a necessity to the wellbeing of the community.” Said in a statement by Willow Lake Métis Nation. “It has, and always will be a place where our community connects and grows in spirit, moral, and kinship.”

In a statement, Principal Cal Johnson of Bill Woodward School said students mentor and volunteer at the nearby Hall for high school credits.

The old Hall served as a muster point, community health service centre, and meeting place for the town’s residents.

Located in downtown Anzac, the centre also staged weddings, funerals, ceremonies, community bingo, dances, industry meetings, and celebrations.

AR&SS and the Anzac Junior Leaders/Scouts will present to Mayor and Council at the special meeting on Sept. 16, 2019.