Waukesha condominium building ‘unsuitable for human occupancy’

A SIX-STOREY CONDO ON THE BRING OF COLLAPSE STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS SOUND THE ALARM THURSDAY NIGHT GIVING OWNERS ONLY MINUTES TO GRABHA WT TYHE COULD AND EXIT IDENTIFIED A CONDITION WHICH WAS IMMEDIATELY DANGEROUS TO LIFE AND HEALTH, WHICH MEANS HEY IT WAS DANGEROUS TOE B IN THE BUILDING THAT COULD COLLAPSE ANY TIME ON FRIDAY, THE FIRE CHIEF SHED A NEW LIGHT ON THE DETERIORATION OF HORIZON WEST CONDOS BUILT IN 1966 POIINNTG AT PROBLEMATIC BALCONIES DEEMED DANGEROUS A YEAR AND A HALF AT THE CHFIE SPECULATED A WINDSTORM IN 2019 FIRST DAMAGE TO BALCONIES THEN LAST OCTOBER WHILE CREWS MAKE REPAIRS. THEY HAVE DISCOVERED A MUCH GREATER THREAT THAN RUSTY EFFECT SUPPORT COLUMNS WHILE TAKING OFF THIS SOFFIT. IT REALLY EXPOSES THE PROBLEMS THAT EXIST. PROBABLY WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN DETECTED UNTIL SOMETHING CATASTROPHIC HAPPENED ON A BALCONY. IT IS STILL NOT CLEAR IF THE BUILDING WILL BE HABITABLE AGAIN. THE ENGINEERS MET THIS MORNING. THEY HAVE A LOT TO WATCH AND CONSIDER, THIS IS ONE OF THOSE SITUATIONS WHERE EVERYTHING CAN BE FIXED BECAUSE WE THINGS ARE BUILT. IT DOESN’T MAKE ECONOMIC SENSE IN ALL THE OVERALL PICTURE THINGS THEY WILL HAVE TO GO THROUGH. WELL, HILLARY, WHAT ABOUT THE RESIDENTS’ ABILITY TO RETURN TO COLLECT THEIR BELONGINGS? WELL PATRICK IS THE HOPE AND GOAL OF RESIDENTS WHO MET WITH THE CONDO ASSOCIATION LATE AFTERNOON TIL12L NEWS. THIS COULD HAPPEN AS SOON AS MORNING 12 NEWS SOAL HAS CONTACTED THE CITY BUILDING DEPARTMENT FOR RECORDS AND INSPECTIONS. THEY DID NOT RESPOND NOR THEY HAD ANY C

Waukesha condominium building ‘unsuitable for human occupancy’

Residents evacuated, building secured

The six-story condominium building in Waukesha that had to be evacuated on Thursday was deemed “unsuitable for human occupancy effective Thursday afternoon,” according to the city’s chief building inspector. After learning of the seriousness of the structural violations, Waukesha Fire Chief Steve Howard, along with other city leaders, felt it imperative to evacuate residents immediately. The order to evacuate the Horizon West condominium building on North West Avenue was issued at 7:25 p.m. Thursday. Some residents were moved to the Baymont Inn on Moreland. Boulevard, about three miles from the condominium. Others have been asked to stay with family members. The Waukesha Fire Chief believes they’ve been able to shore up the building enough to keep it from collapsing at this time, but he said crumbling balconies and mother nature are partly to blame for the hazard. ‘Identified a condition which was immediately dangerous to life and health meaning it was unsafe to be in the building and collapse could occur at any time,’ Chief Steve said. Howard. Howard speculated that a windstorm in 2019 first damaged the balconies. Then, last October, as crews were carrying out repairs, they discovered a much bigger threat: rusted, crumbling support columns “with the balcony,” Howard said. It is still not known whether the building, which will be habitable again. “Engineers met this morning. They have a lot to look at and consider. It’s one of those situations where everything can be fixed, but does it make economic sense and all the overall things that they’re going to have to go through,” Howard said. On Friday, the city listed interactions with the Horizon West Condominium Association: In June 2020, the City of Waukesha received a complaint about the condition of the balconies at Horizon West Condominiums and ordered that the balconies not be used by residents. In addition, the city ordered that the structural issues with the balconies be addressed and ordered the owner to conduct an engineering analysis and provide it to the city. There have been additional inspections throughout 2020 and 2021 by the City of Waukesha Fire Department as the condo association attempts to hire contractors and fix issues with the building. On September 21, 2021, the city ordered the installation of fencing around the building due to deteriorating condition of the balconies and falling debris falling from the structures. In October 2021, the Horizon West Condominium Association began removing the balconies. The removal of the balconies revealed deficiencies in the structure of the building as well as the load-bearing columns. Additional inspections were carried out by the fire department and the city’s independent structural engineer, as well as the building engineer throughout November. On Tuesday, November 30, a preliminary structural report by an independent structural engineer revealed deficiencies in the building’s load-bearing structure. The city has begun discussions on appropriate next steps. After additional site visits and analysis by the city, a building engineer, and an independent structural engineer, the city received additional data late afternoon Thursday, December 2, leading to the conclusion that the building was not safe to stay occupied. The city activated its emergency operations center and supervised the evacuation throughout the evening of December 2. As of Friday morning December 3, residents have been successfully evacuated and the building is now secure. A total of 65 people were successfully evacuated from the building. Twenty-three rooms were provided by the Salvation Army for temporary accommodation. On Friday morning, the city, working with all parties, reviewed a proposed plan to provide immediate temporary shoring and support to stabilize the structure to mitigate any impending structural collapse. At noon on Friday, the condominium contractors installed structural shoring on the building to provide some immediate structural integrity. No one was injured as a result of the breaches or the evacuation. WISN 12 also checked with the city’s building department regarding inspections. No one has responded or made a public comment.

The six-story condominium building in Waukesha that had to be evacuated on Thursday was deemed “unsuitable for human occupancy effective Thursday afternoon,” according to the city’s chief building inspector.

After learning of the seriousness of the structural violations, Waukesha Fire Chief Steve Howard, along with other city leaders, felt it imperative to evacuate residents immediately.

The order to evacuate the Horizon West condominium on North Avenue West was issued at 7:25 p.m. Thursday.

Some residents were moved to the Baymont Inn on Moreland Boulevard, about three miles from the condo building.

Others have been asked to stay with family members.

The Waukesha Fire Chief believes they were able to shore up the building enough to keep it from collapsing at this time, but he said crumbling balconies and mother nature were partly to blame for the danger.

‘Identified a condition which was immediately dangerous to life and health meaning it was unsafe to be in the building and collapse could occur at any time,’ Chief Steve said. Howard.

Howard speculated that a windstorm in 2019 first damaged the balconies.

Then, last October, while crews were carrying out repairs, they discovered a much bigger threat: rusted and crumbling support columns.

“Pulling that soffit off really exposed issues that were there that probably wouldn’t have been detected until something catastrophic happened with the balcony,” Howard said.

It is still not known whether the building, which will be habitable again.

“Engineers met this morning. They have a lot to look at and consider. It’s one of those situations where everything can be fixed, but does it make economic sense and all the overall things that they’re going to have to go through,” Howard mentioned.

On Friday, the city listed interactions with the Horizon West Condominium Association:

  • In June 2020, the City of Waukesha received a complaint regarding the condition of the balconies at Horizon West Condominiums and ordered that the balconies not be used by residents. In addition, the city ordered that the structural issues with the balconies be addressed and ordered the owner to conduct an engineering analysis and provide it to the city.
  • There have been additional inspections throughout 2020 and 2021 by the City of Waukesha Fire Department as the condo association attempts to hire contractors and fix issues with the building.
  • On September 21, 2021, the city ordered the installation of fencing around the building due to deteriorating condition of the balconies and falling debris falling from the structures.
  • In October 2021, the Horizon West Condominium Association began removing the balconies.
  • The removal of the balconies revealed deficiencies in the structure of the building as well as the load-bearing columns. Additional inspections were conducted by the fire department and the city’s third-party independent structural engineer, as well as the building engineer throughout November.
  • On Tuesday, November 30, a preliminary structural report by an independent structural engineer revealed deficiencies in the building’s supporting structure. The city has begun discussions on appropriate next steps.
  • After additional site visits and analysis by the city, a building engineer, and an independent structural engineer, the city received additional data late afternoon Thursday, December 2, leading to the conclusion that the building was not safe to stay occupied. The city activated its emergency operations center and supervised the evacuation throughout the evening of December 2.
  • On Friday morning, December 3, residents were successfully evacuated and the building is now secure. A total of 65 people were successfully evacuated from the building. Twenty-three rooms were provided by the Salvation Army for temporary accommodation.
  • On Friday morning, the city, working with all parties, reviewed a proposed plan to provide immediate temporary shoring and support to stabilize the structure to mitigate any impending structural collapse.
  • Beginning noon Friday, condominium contractors installed structural shoring on the building to provide some immediate structural integrity.

No one was injured as a result of the breaches or the evacuation.

WISN 12 also checked with the city’s building department regarding inspections.

No one has responded or made a public comment.

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