Opus Construction will analyze Brady Hall and decide how to fix a structural “bulge” in the building’s exterior.
An orange fence now surrounds part of the building and metal beams were added to the east wall Wednesday afternoon for reinforcement.
“There’s a bulge happening in the brick wall, but we don’t know why yet,” said physical plant construction manager James Brummer. “We’re going to put up a temporary brace which will keep any loose bricks from falling, but until then we’ve put up the orange fence just to be safe.”
After completing the exterior analysis, Opus Construction then will analyze the building’s interior, Brummer said.
Brummer added that students should not be worried about the safety of living in the building.
“There is nothing wrong with the building that will endanger anybody who uses it,” he said. “Maybe if the bulge went on for 30 or 40 years, then there might be problems. But right now the structure is safe.”
Director of Residence Life Aaron Macke also emphasized that the building is safe.
“The building is not collapsing,” Macke said. “This is simply yearly maintenance. We like to keep all our buildings up-to-date and in good condition at St. Thomas.”
Brady Hall also is being re-roofed, partly to prepare for new solar panels that will be installed over winter break. The panel installation was delayed because Brady Hall, which was built in 1967, had to be analyzed to ensure it could support the additional weight of the panels.
“Since Brady Hall is as old as it is, we wanted to make sure the structure could support the extra weight of the panel system,” Brummer said. “But we found that the load of the panels won’t damage the roof. Now we’re just trying to get the re-roofing done before it snows and then we’ll put the panels up.”
Katie Broadwell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org