Glass, Morrison explain Assembly Hall fixes

Apparently all Indiana needed to make sure Assembly Hall was ready for play were lag bolts. Lots of lag bolts.

IU athletic director Fred Glass and vice president of capital projects Tom Morrison met with the media Thursday evening before the Hoosiers’ rescheduled game with Iowa to explain what the university had done to secure Assembly Hall after a 50-pound metal plate had fallen from the top of the wall in the Northwestern corner of the building on Feb. 18.

Glass and Morrison said the day that the metal plate fell that they believed the plates served only an ornamental purpose and not a structural one and therefore could be removed without causing additional problems. However, they said engineers eventually determined that the plates had a secondary purpose of helping to hold up the panels on the wall of the building. There were other structures more critical in holding the panels up, but the plates still played a part in it and had to stay up.

Making that happen required two fixes, Glass said. First was to make sure the plates were better secured when they had been. Morrison said the plates had been previously held up with four screws. He said engineers removed all 60 plates along the top of the wall, drilled in four additional holes on to each and re-secured each plate with eight lag bolts.

“The snow load sheered those screws off,” Morrison said. “We put them up with reinforced lag bolts. So where there are four, now there are eight.”

Glass also said the plates also each had 2 inches shaved off each of them to make sure the roof should not come down far enough for the roof to touch the plates and put pressure on them. Even if it does sink further than ever before, the bolts should be enough to hold the plates in, but it is unlikely that they will ever have to deal with that kind of weight and pressure again.

Glass said the work was mostly finished last Thursday night and totally finished last Friday.

“We have a double protection on that,” Glass said. “… The fix is complete. We’re very confident that Assembly Hall is safe. It may be the safest building in the Big Ten or college basketball given how thoroughly it’s been reviewed and tested and certified as safe by the structural engineers.”

Glass said Indiana does not yet have an estimate on how much the remediations will cost, but says he expects the cost to be minor because not much had to be spent in materials. Morrison said most of the cost will be labor costs as well as the renting of two cranes that were used in the repairs. Glass was asked if Indiana would be reimbursing Iowa for travel to Bloomington twice, and he said nothing in regard to that question had come to his desk yet.

Glass said the remediations will in no way effect the $40 million renovation scheduled for Assembly Hall. The design phase for the project has begun, he said, and work on the renovation will begin in March of 2015 at the end of next basketball season. He expects it will be finished in the summer of 2016.