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Edmonton City Hall likely closed to the public for several more weeks: city manager

Workers cleanup at Edmonton City Hall after shots were fired and a Molotov cocktail caused a small fire on Jan. 23, 2024. (Credit: City of Edmonton) Workers cleanup at Edmonton City Hall after shots were fired and a Molotov cocktail caused a small fire on Jan. 23, 2024. (Credit: City of Edmonton)
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Edmonton's city manager is revealing more about cleanup at city hall and what security will look like going forward after a shooting at the building last month.

On Jan. 23, a man armed with a long gun stormed the building, firing several shots and throwing a Molotov cocktail from the second floor.

No one was injured, and one person is facing six charges in connection with the incident.

The building has been closed to the public since the incident, while crews performed repair work and security protocols were reviewed.

"We've sort of grinded down the floor and removed some of the old wax to clean up all the burn marks that were on the granite floors and stairs. Then we have, to the best extent possible, cleaned up any bullet holes that were in walls and panels," city manager Andre Corbould told reporters on Tuesday.

"We have replaced some of the glass paneling with wood paneling as a temporary measure, because we've got the glass paneling on order, and it could be 16 weeks to get that."

Mayor Amarjeet Sohi and some councillors and other staffers returned to the building on Feb. 6, but Corbould says they're accommodating staff who aren't comfortable coming back yet.

"We're giving people choice in terms of how they come backand how quickly they come back, when we're able to do that, given the hybrid work environment we've worked in for a while," he commented.

"What I'm seeing is great professionalism, I'm seeing some people affected in different ways."

He said facilities staff have also gone to great lengths to minimize triggers and trauma for returning staff.

"They have talked to some trauma specialists about what's important as you change and fix things from this kind of case."

"There are ways we can do that by covering up bullet holes and fixing damage before people see it. Because all of that can be a bit triggering."

While the physical damage was obvious in city hall, the changes that needed to be made to security weren't as evident.

Corbould says he has received a draft of the detailed security report that was expected, and he's looking which options would work best for the facility.

"If you want to use the bathroom, if you want to play the piano, if you want to just sit and do a crossword puzzle, or charge your cell phone, we want people to continue to be able to do that. The big difference is we also want people not to be able to bring a weapon in."

"The concept is really a bit more layered security than we have right now."

When asked if Edmontonians would see security features like metal detectors, Corbould wouldn't go into much additional detail, except to say there would likely be less public access.

"I can't even remember the number of doors that access this place, we would likely restrict some of those. And, of course, you know, the parkade becomes all that much more complex with pathways and other things."

Corbould says there's no firm timeline for reopening city hall to the public, but he expects it to be a matter of weeks.

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Jeremy Thompson  

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