This picture shows the dirt floor inside of the building with water on the floor that has leaked through the roof.

District says observatory leaking

Release photos of several construction mistakes and code violations.

  • Jul. 29, 2016 2:00 p.m.

In the wake of the Mission Heritage Association releasing documents they believe prove their long-standing contention that they proceeded with construction of the observatory with verbal permission from the District, staff at city hall have released photos showing a leak in the roof and several other problems with the structure.

The proposed observatory has been the subject of a large public debate since the idea was first approved by the previous council in 2013.

Construction began in March 2014 but the project was halted after the current council decided not to renew the park management contract with the Mission Heritage Association. Instead the district took over management of the park and construction of all remaining buildings on site, including the observatory.

A decision was then made to abandon the observatory project. At the time, the district raised several concerns including the location of the structure, the feasibility of the business plan, construction problems and even the safety of the location, due to concerns regarding the nearby slope.

The Mission Heritage Association countered all of those allegations believing the location to be adequate and safe and the business plan to be sound.

According to the District, the structural engineering drawings submitted by the MHA clearly indicates that concrete topping is not be used (See Photo below). The District never received other required mechanical, electrical or architectural plans and drawings required to issue a building permit.

The photo below shows the concrete pavers that have been placed on top of the building contrary to the specifications included in the structural drawings supplied by MHA to the District.

This is one of several issues with the construction of the observatory, according to the district.

Looking up at the attic space just below the roof on the inside of the building there is a need for insulation. The insulation is required to be placed in this space (see photo below). According to the district, conventional fiberglass insulation would also require venting which is not possible with the way the building has been built. Expensive alternate solutions such as removing the roof or using spray foam insulation or installing the insulation on top of the existing roof and re-roofing and re-railing would be necessary.

Other issues, according to the district include the fact that flashing (below) should be continuous along the roof edge and not be cut by posts. Thee breaks in flashing are areas where water could enter the building.

Yet another issue noted by the district is the placement of the structure itself (see pic below.

A registered Right of Way exists to the left of the building and extends to the east. The district says a site plan was not completed and it is thought that the building encroaches on this Right of Way. A site plan is always required as part of a building permit application to confirm the sitting of a building does not conflict with a registered encumbrances on land. A site plan was never submitted.

All photos and information were supplied by the District of Mission.

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