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October 27, 2017 7:17 pm

Water Damage Forces Big Brothers Big Sisters Out of Office

Wednesday, January 18, 2017 @ 3:11 PM
Big Brothers Big Sisters executive director Tim Bennett next to furniture that had to be moved into the hallway to deal with leaky roof - photo 250News

Big Brothers Big Sisters executive director Tim Bennett stands next to furniture that had to be moved into the hallway to deal with his office’s leaky roof – photo 250News

Prince George, B.C. – A rude wake up call for Big Brothers Big Sisters Prince George on Monday morning.

Staff arrived to discover extensive water damage in its rented office space at 777 Kinsmen Place.

“The thaw and the abundance of snow we received led to some significant leaks throughout the building that we rent,” says executive director Tim Bennett.

“We were very fortunate that our landlord – the Kinsmen Club – responded very quickly (they are insured) but at the same time we had to close operations here at our office due to the fact we needed to shut electrical and furnace because they were in the line of the water.”

He says it forced the program to book field trips for their child care centres yesterday though the clubhouse – located in the basement – has since been deemed safe by insurance adjusters allowing the kids to return.

Bennett adds the community, as usual, has rallied around them. For example, Hubspace has graciously allowed them to temporarily move their office staff into its office space downtown.

And that’s not all.

“We were in a panic – we have national standards that require us to keep all of our files for a very long period of time and we have a room full of filing cabinets that water was pouring onto and we called Central Builders just to see if they had a couple of dollies we could borrow and they showed up with manpower and helped move them,” says Bennett. “Integris has stepped up to help us out with some meeting space as well.”

But aside from being temporarily displaced, he says it’s full steam ahead with their programming.

“Some of our meetings may occur in a different setting for the next couple weeks but our staff are still working their normal days and our care centres are still running.”


Maybe having a miniature forest growing on your flat roof for years has contributed to todays problem.

It is true BC2413. The roof has been a concern of the tenants of the building for a while. There was work done on the roof last year but as learned yesterday it did not solve the problem. We are looking forward to working with our landlords to get a new roof over our heads soon. – Tim Bennett, Executive Director

This has been problem for years and only now are Kinsmen actualy doing something about it. Other tenants displaces as well. this is what happens when maintenance not done.

    You are absolutely correct. The water has went into Girl Guides Hall and they had to cancel meetings or move their meetings.

    Spinal cord Injury reopened today as no water has got into their offices yet. They could easily be displaced as well if we get a lot of rain or they can not replace the roof before another snow and thaw.

Frozen roof drains are probably more of an issue than the roof itself. Once water can stand in a pipe it finds any hole or loose coupling to pour out of, happening all over town. Been walking a lot of flat roofs to make sure drains are flowing lately

I would like to set the record straight on many misconceptions commented above. The flood at the Kinsmen Hall was only on the administration side of the complex. Yes the roof needs to be replaced BUT this flood was in fact caused by a frozen roof drain. The water was within a couple inches of overflowing the roof edges, this is a major amount of water. The water was coming in every vent and exhaust pipe on the roof and travelling everywhere inside the building. The damage from the weight of the water to the roof has not yet been determined.

There was a major roof repair done in March of 2015 and has held water tight since then. The club was already in the midst of obtaining quotes to replace the roof and other repairs need on the roof area. The club has not been complacent in maintaining or fixing repairs that were needed. But for a non profit that receives no gaming or grant money it is a challenge to come up with large sums of money for a roof when the club is already making a loan payment for the other roof that was recently replaced. We majorly subsidize the rent for the non profits in the building by volunteering our time to hold events. Non of the club members are paid any wages.

The small trees growing on the roof were cut and treated with poison that did not work. We have been informed to not pull out the vegetation out as it could cause further damage to the roof.

I would hope that going forward anybody involved with the Kinsmen complex would speak directly to the club at a board meeting and voice their concerns.

President, Kinsmen Club of PG

Thank you Rochelle and Kinsmen.I have tried to make it very clear that the club has responded quickly with this and for that we are thankful.

We look forward to coming back to our home in the very near future.


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