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BREAKING: Wey Hall closed for classes after reported safety concerns

Wey+Hall+en+los+primeros+pasos+de+construcci%C3%B3n+con+basureros+de+escombros+siendo+removidos+del+edificio+el+8+de+octubre+del+2023.
Devon Richter
Wey hall en los primeros pasos de construcción, con basureros de escombros siendo retirados del edificio en 8 de octubre del 2023.

All classes in Wey Hall have been canceled until 8 a.m. on Monday due to safety concerns voiced by a student and faculty member, according to an email sent Thursday by Joshua White, interim department chair for the Department of Art. 

Classes in Wey Hall were also canceled Wednesday afternoon, according to an email sent from the Dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts Shannon Campbell. 

Lauren Borer, a junior photography major, said she sent an email to White, Campbell and Chancellor Sheri Everts after experiencing an event that made her question the safety of Wey Hall. 

Borer walked into a classroom on the first floor of Wey Hall, the only floor still open for use during the renovation construction, when class members started to get up from their seats and move to another part of the room. Borer said she and her peers heard a thump in the ceiling and saw cracks forming on the ceiling tiles. When a faculty member inspected behind the tiles, they discovered a concrete core with jagged edges about the size of a roll of toilet paper, Borer said. 

“It has been determined that during Spring Break, while contractors were drilling, concrete debris fell into the ceiling tiles, and the contractor failed to follow approved university safety protocols,” Campbell wrote. 

The Construction Manager at Risk for the project is Muter Construction LLC, according to App State’s Future website

In response to Borer’s email, Environmental Health, Safety, and Emergency Management Director Jason Marshburn wrote in an email that Muter Construction has taken “appropriate personnel actions to address identified problems.” 

Campbell wrote that while the building is closed, additional safety inspections and safety meetings will be held. 

After receiving responses from various members of App State’s administration, Borer said she still has some concerns about how seriously the incident is being taken. 

Borer’s father and mother both work in property development and she said she has grown up around construction her entire life. After describing the situation to her father, Borer said she began to feel the situation was more serious than how it was being described by staff members. 

“I know that if it fell on somebody’s head it would not have done a small amount of damage,” Borer said. “You know, like that would have been a very, very bad situation if it had hit somebody.”

According to the email sent by Campbell, no debris fell through the ceiling. 

All concrete debris was cleared from above the ceiling tiles and there will be no other drilling taking place in Wey Hall for the remainder of the semester, wrote Campbell. 

Campbell’s email also addressed the concern voiced by a faculty member, saying debris was found inside a faculty member’s office, which occurred over spring break. 

Borer said she would feel more comfortable if she was able to access the safety inspection reports or any other information available about the condition of the building and its amenities. 

“It’s not just the cement that I’m worried about,” Borer said. “It’s like everything. The cement was just the breaking point of this.”

According to White’s email, students can retrieve any items they need from Wey Hall  Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“I recognize this is a stressful situation,” Campbell wrote. “For which I offer my most sincere and heartfelt apology.”

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About the Contributors
Siri Patterson, News Editor
Siri Patterson (she/her/hers) is a junior journalism major with a minor in political science. This is her second year writing for The Appalachian.
Devon Richter, Photographer
Devon Richter (he/him) is a junior Fine Art Photography major, from Thomasville, N.C. This is his first year with The Appalachian.
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Comments (3)

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  • F

    Frank BlackMar 28, 2024 at 11:40 am

    North Carolina colleges are subject to NC OSHA laws & regulations. Unsafe working conditions should be reported to the North Carolina Department of Labor. Please See the NC Department of Labor Website for How to File Complaints. There may also be legal options for students if they are not being provided appropriate classrooms or workspace and/or if materials handling or safety are ongoing issues.
    It is also a good idea for students to read the North Carolina State Constitution and familiarize themselves with the clauses about free public college education.

    Reply
  • B

    BobMar 24, 2024 at 1:05 am

    Pretty disgusting what this university was putting these kids through just to save some money. Even if there was some distance between the students and demolition, they should’ve never even have been in the same building as it, nor the sorry excuse for a dorm room being used as a class room. For a D1 FBS school that is just disgraceful.

    Reply
  • M

    MuChaoMar 22, 2024 at 6:51 am

    Dean Campbell should not have to be apologizing for this! Where is Sheri? Was Sheri contacted for this story? She’s the de-facto face and “leader” of our university, but unless there’s there’s a photo-op she can get in on, she is consistently nowhere to be found. Terrified of her own employees, students, and the High Country community at large.

    I feel so sorry for the the students, faculty, and staff of the Art department who have been so completely shafted the last few semesters by this outrageous situation. Meanwhile, the university continues to throw bundles of cash at the few dozen students down at the failure of a campus in Hickory. It’s disgusting.

    Reply