The massive two-year renovation of the College Building is most likely the underlying cause of a heave in one of the historic structure’s hallways, but the details of what actually happened may forever be a mystery.
A section of floor outside the President’s office began to show signs of movement early on Jan. 10. Later that day, staff working on the floor heard a loud noise, investigated and found both the floor’s clay tiles and pieces of the hallway’s slate trim pushed out of place.
Ron Cruikshank, acting director of projects and engineering with Facilities Management Division, said the University immediately called in the structural engineer who was the consultant on the building’s renovation, a job that was completed in late 2005. The engineer’s assessment, said Cruikshank, “was that it doesn’t appear to be a structural issue. There is no evidence that the building has moved.”
A more likely explanation is that during the building’s reconstruction, which was described at the time as being like replacing a person’s skeleton from the inside, some additional stress was introduced to the floor “and it’s taken this long to release itself. This building is very old and it’s been through quite a bit so it’s likely related to a change in conditions, something that built up during the renovation.”
Cruikshank said the affected area will soon be cleaned up and the slate and tile replaced.