© Austin M. Davis
Christina Wilder (left), Carol Meier and other Court of Queen's Bench employees are currently working in the basement of the W.G. Davies building.
Court of Queen’s Bench was in chambers on Monday, but getting there meant going down stairs instead of up.
“Other than having no windows, and no windows that open, it’s a great space for us,” said acting-sheriff/local registrar, Carol Meier. “It’s working out quite well for us, as well as can be expected.”
It wasn’t a very far move.
Meier and four other employees were relocated to the basement of the W.G. Davies Building — right across First Avenue Northwest — after the ceiling of the Moose Jaw Court House collapsed on Sept. 19.
“We all worked very hard last week and we were able to facilitate the move into our new surroundings downstairs in the Davies building,” Meier said. “We’re up and open for business.”
The ceiling collapse set off fire alarms and caused flooding after pipes burst. Nobody was in the building at the time, but work equipment was damaged.
“We had one system that was down but we’re now up and running, so that’s good,” Meier said.
She said a few computers were lost to the damage, but IT people were able to get everyone the equipment they needed.
Meier said the staff helped packing up files and business operations to move.
She said Central Services was great, and the movers completed a hard job in just over 12 hours.
“We were just fortunate that last week was what we call a non-court week,” Meier said.
Court of Queen’s Bench was back in chambers on Monday and Tuesday, without having to make any scheduling changes.
She said, of all times for this damage to happen, it’s fortunate that the ceiling collapse happened on a Saturday before a non-court week.
It’s estimated that Court of Queen’s Bench could be housed in the Davies Building basement for eight months.
There’s a possibility of a jury trial being held in the near future, Meier said.
Ron Dedman, deputy minister of central services, told the Times-Herald the initial damage estimate of over $1 million to the Court House “seem(ed) a little on the high side.”
Part of the original building came down in the collapse. The over-100-years-old court house is a designated National Historic Site of Canada.
Austin M. Davis can be reached at 306-691-1258 or follow him on Twitter @theAustinX.