Students, Profs Bolt As UNC-Chapel Hill Building Sags

September 5, 2007

Bulging brickwork means several law school classrooms at the University of North Carolina’s law school will be closed for a while.

About 200 students and professors scattered Friday when the exterior of a 39-year-old building shifted, bowing brickwork, crumbling concrete and cracking windows.

“Someone was outside and noticed the exterior was bowing out,” said Marty Rosenbluth, a third-year student who was in a classroom at the time. “Everyone was very calm. They did a good job of calmly telling us
to evacuate.”

University officials said extreme heat this summer apparently caused the brickwork to expand on the main section of the building. Newer buildings are constructed to withstand temperature extremes, UNC Law Dean Jack Boger said.

About three-quarters of the law school, including its library, had to shut down while engineers examined the structure. They determined there was no danger of a structural failure, and the building reopened late Friday.

Four large classrooms on the building’s top floor will remain closed for a few weeks while repairs are made, and the area near the damaged brickwork was roped off.

Information from: The News & Observer,

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