By Saima Asad, September 13 2016 —
Students commuting to class through the Science Theatres building may notice a large white wall blocking their path, as Science Theatres 147 and its adjacent hallway are currently barred from public access.
The area has been closed off since consultants discovered a potential safety hazard during an inspection of the area on July 29.
“During a recent routine inspection of the Social Sciences building, a structural engineering consultant identified that a number of the pre-cast concrete panels appeared to be bowing and cracking on the north facade of the building,” said associate vice-president of facilities development Boris Dragicevic. “As a precaution, Science Theatres 147 and the adjacent hallway were immediately closed to traffic until a more detailed investigation is completed.”
That investigation will continue over the following weeks. According to Dragicevic, a report from August 12 identified the issues and recommends either repairing or removing the panelling system from the Social Sciences building.
Though the report aimed to have a plan in place by the end of August, a timeline for the hallway’s reopening is still uncertain.
“Plans for how to repair or remove the paneling system and associated timelines will be determined over the following weeks,” Dragicevic said.
Until then, students can expect to see more of the white wall. Dragicevic said the closure will likely continue as a precaution for the upcoming semester and could be extended if required.
Classes that were scheduled in ST 147 have been relocated.
Dragicevic stressed the closure and ongoing work are in the best interest of the community.
“The safety of the campus community and visitors is our number one priority. The structural engineering consultant supports the method and extent of the closure as a means to ensuring that safety,” he said.