COMMERCE - Structural engineers from JQ Dallas, LLP declared Whitley Hall at Texas A&M University-Commerce to be structurally sound January 16 following an inspection of the building.
According to David McKenna, assistant vice president for facilities & support services, the inspection followed a minor incident January 15 involving a section of brick veneer detaching from the east side of Whitley Hall’s 12th floor cooling tower enclosure. According to Chief Donna Spinato, University Police Department, no injuries or damage was reported as a result of the incident.
According to JQ Dallas, the engineers did not observe any deficiencies or signs of distress in the reinforced concrete frame of the building. The brick veneer that detached from the building was an exterior finish material, and not a part of the structural frame supporting the building.
“Based on yesterday’s investigation, the incident was a unique situation where bricks pulled away from the building and not by a structural defect,” McKenna said. “Going forward, we plan to install a locking system that will ensure that the brick veneer and other exterior building elements are secure and do not pose a risk to the university community.”
Whitley Hall, constructed in 1969, is home to 466 students this semester. Repairs to the brick veneer will be scheduled after a thorough inspection of the entire building exterior is completed. This process will start immediately.