Five hundred people attending an event for prospective engineering students on Penn State University’s main campus were evacuated Monday after part of a balcony overhang fell inside Schwab Auditorium, slightly injuring at least one person.
Building engineers and environmental health and safety teams were assessing the 112-year-old buff-colored brick structure, which was closed until further notice, officials said. It was not immediately clear what led the 2-foot by 8-foot section of plaster ceiling to drop into a center aisle and several seats.
Dry rot or water intrusion can cause balcony deck failure, and can result in structural damage to the buildings they attach to, even when the deck appears fine on the surface. Regular deck inspections by a qualified waterproofing and decking professional, as well as keeping up with minor repairs, can preserve your investment and ensure the safety of the occupants.
In 2002, a parking deck had also collapsed at Penn State University.
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