DAVENPORT, Iowa (WHBF) — On Wednesday night, the City of Davenport released dozens of pages of documents dating back to 2020 related to the partially collapsed building downtown.
They included photos that show problems with the building’s brick exterior, among other issues.
Putting the documents all into context quickly is difficult. But some of them highlight work from Bettendorf-based company Select Structural Engineering, discussed in Tuesday’s news briefing.
A letter from the firm discussed two beams. It said both beams “need to be shored with heavy posts so that permanent repairs can be applied.”
A follow up letter outlined how damaged brick would be repaired. An engineer cautioned the 12-foot length of wall may be demolished and shored in three four-foot-wide segments. Then it can be replaced in similar increments.
This appears to be a focus of Larry Sandhaas, a structural engineer with the firm Shive-Hattery, hired to help assess the building for the city. He spoke at Tuesday’s news conference:
“The brick on the outside holds the steel frame up and at the same time the steel of the frame holds the brick up, so when you lose the brick you lose the stability of the building,” he said.
Select Structural turned down a request for an interview from Local 4 News.
The building’s age played a role in why it was built that way – state of the art for its time – compared to how buildings are constructed now.
The City of Davenport has announced plans to hold another news conference Thursday morning. Shive-Hattery was on site Wednesday to use a forensic drone to assess the building’s damage, according to a statement from the city.
The property owner’s insurance firm representative and structural engineers were also there to complete an independent structural damage assessment. This is after actions were taken against the owner of the partially collapsed building.
Andrew Wold and his business are being fined for failure to maintain the safety of the building, court documents say. The fine is $300 for not keeping the building safe plus $95 for court fees. The city further requested that the court order Wold to refrain from committing any further violations of the city code. He is scheduled to appear in Scott County Court on Friday, June 9.
Wold and his team released a statement on Wednesday:
“Our thoughts and prayers are with our tenants and families during this difficult time. We would like to thank the brave men and women of Davenport Fire, Davenport Police Department, and all other first responders for their tireless efforts to ensure everyone’s safety,” the statement says.
“We have been working closely with the American Red Cross and other agencies to assist the displaced tenants affected by this event. We are forever grateful to them for all of their assistance with our tenants.”
After the statement, an emotional response came from the same people who have been standing outside the building. Here’s what the cousin of Branden Colvin – one of the missing men – had to say about it:
“What needs to be done is the city needs to be held accountable. He (Wold) needs to be held accountable. Wait, the guy was only charged with a $300 fine for the unstable building? This should have been way more than that.”
Local 4 News will continue to follow this case as it develops.