Siding blown off of Engineering building

Just as the ongoing campus construction seemed to be finished, Mother Nature had other ideas.

Though not nearly as destructive as the winds that helped sink the Edmund Fitzgerald, students and buildings alike felt the damage that left 180,000 Metro Detroiters without power.

“Avoid the front entrance of the new Engineering Building. The front of the building is coming off the front side of the building due to the extreme wind,” OUPD posted on Facebook, Monday, Dec. 1.

The area will be barricaded off until it is determined to be safe.

The now two-month-old building has been a safe haven for students: a new place to study, hang out and attend class. However, the damage itself was limited to the exterior and is still full functional.

“The front entrance (from parking lot P36) is closed for safety of the students,” said Louay Chamra, Dean and Professor of the School of Engineering and Computer Science said. “The building is open and all classes are being held at their normal times.”

For students, a mishap like this can have its lessons. It proves the uncertainties that come with designing and testing buildings. There are many variables that high winds contribute to damage and leaves much to speculate.

Though there are tests to prevent these incidents from happening, not everything can be found in controlled experiments.

“Not all actual conditions can be tested for, [such as] wind speed and directions,” Terry Stollsteimer, Associate Vice President of Facilities Management said.

Wind damage has been an ongoing issue, affecting four buildings to date. Damages including doors, shingles, siding and signs.

An investigation into the engineering building damage is being looked into and repairs will start as soon it is completed.

Replacement panels for the engineering building will be part of a special run, which will slow the process, but will be completed as soon as possible, as long as the weather permits. The repairs, themselves, will not stop the building from being put to use.

It is an unfortunate incident that such a new building was damaged and ironically to a building that serves for engineering and construction.

“It will be repaired,” Susan Riley, Senior Project Manager at Oakland University said.