By. Chris Stritzel
Yes. You read that title right. The brand New nearly Billion Dollar Expansion onto Barnes Jewish Hospital at Kingshighway and Forest Park is buckling. According to nurses putting IV stands and monitors in rooms, they were rolling to a certain part of the floor within the building itself. The City got a hold of this information and confirmed it in an article with the post dispatch. Building commissioner Frank Oswald laid out the situation in his interview with STLtoday and clarified several issues while raising other issues.
Quoting the Post Dispatch, Frank States, “it appears the floors are buckling on the sixth through 12th floors in the north tower”. Furthermore, he stated that the the building will not be given an occupancy permit until engineers can prove to the city that the structure was built correctly and not pose a serious threat to public safety whether that is on the street or within the building itself. Safety has to be a number one priority and one would think that with current building codes, a situation like this couldn’t happen.
In either case, if engineers can or cannot prove that the building is stable, it will surely make a dent into Clayco (Contruction Contractor) and HOK (Architect) reputations. Clayco’s being building techniques and HOK’s being design flaws. Both are reputable companies that make a living off of either building things or designing things, so don’t expect this to be a walk in the park for them in the future. This event has the potential to come back and get them if they are found of bypassing laws and engineering standards.
There is the possibility that the building will have to come down if it is structurally unstable. A building such as this cannot be easily fixed without screwing up the way it works. It just is not possible. If it is attempted, it will cost even more money, money that BJC probably does not want to put towards a situation like this.
The BJC North Tower was designed to hold new patient rooms and Siteman Cancer Center rooms. It is part of the Washington University Medical Center Campus Renweal Project that includes a safe and successful Children’s Hospital Expansion and a new Mid-Campus Center Office Building. Future plans call for the demolition and reconstruction of Queeny Tower on the southern end of the Campus.
How will this situation effect the outcome of future plans remains to be seen.
This story will be updated.