Post Classifieds

Whitley repairs to be complete by April

By Leah Allen
On February 2, 2012


Efforts are underway to secure Whitley Hall for the safety of students after the Jan. 14 falling bricks incident.

Executive Director of Facilities and Support Services David McKenna said, though it will take time, they are working hard towards creating a secure environment.

"We are in the process of putting in a system to secure the brick face around the building," he said. "That will probably take us into mid to late April to complete that, but it will be around the building."

McKenna said the plan is to make adjustments around the entire building in order to avoid any reoccurring issues. That means blockades will still be necessary.

"It will be blocked off in sections as we move around," he said. "[The workers] will have to move off the roof to do the high work. As they move their machinery around, we will just block those areas."

Crews are currently in the process of building a covered walkway for the students on the south side of the building for easier access to and from the parking lot, according to McKenna. They plan to replicate that on the north side.

While April is the estimated time of completion, there are hopes that the work will go by faster than expected.

"Hopefully it'll speed up a little bit," McKenna said. "They'll have a couple of crews here. It's kind of tedious work, and it's not something you can do real quickly, but they will work through our spring break and move along there."

The priority focus for the construction will be on the east face, McKenna said, where the initial problem occurred. McKenna pointed out a slight obstacle,

"The biggest problem we had initially was we quickly had to assemble some barricades and tapes," he said. "There were very high winds from the west knocking things over. We went to the fence and even that got knocked over. "

McKenna said that despite the difficulties with the barricading, students have remained careful.

"Students have been great about not getting in those areas because of the possibility of something happening," he said, "I appreciate their cooperation. I know they're all wanting to know that that will be a safe environment for them. We will take care of that and make sure that the brick structure is on there securely so that we don't have those issues."

Whitley Hall residents need to be aware that crews will be working from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and they will be right outside of students' windows at times. McKenna said the Department of Residential Living and Learning will inform students about when and where the work will be done.

"It will be kind of noisy because they will be going through the mortar securing the helical ties in there," McKenna said, "and once those are in there then they will be covered. You won't see it at the end of the day. The bricks will be replaced that have fallen and secured properly. At the end of the day, the building will go back to looking actually a lot better than it did."

As much as they want it completed soon, McKenna pointed out the importance in focusing on quality work over fast work.

"We want to do it right one time verses having any other issues," he said.

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