Friday, October 7, 2016
Trinity College remains committed to the safety of all members of our community, and the College is working diligently to inspect College-owned residential properties and remedy issues that come to our attention. As of today, safety inspections at all Trinity-owned residential properties have been completed, and we expect to receive a report within one week. Trinity will share the information with the residents in each property and work to remedy any identified issues as promptly as possible. In some cases, repairs have already occurred.
With the completion of the safety inspections, Trinity is now turning its full attention to structural inspections. This is a more in-depth and intensive inspection that examines the structural integrity of a building. These inspections will occur at all Trinity-owned residential properties, and we will provide an update when we have more information about when the inspections will be completed. As with the safety inspections, the inspectors will provide a comprehensive report of any items that require remediation, and we will work quickly to remedy them.
Thursday, September 29, 2016
Today, Trinity College released the independent site investigation report of the balcony collapse at 1713-1715 Broad Street on September 10, 2016. The report, conducted by Cirrus Structural Engineering, found the two elevated decks to be structurally deficient relative to “code requirements, engineering principles and general best practice.” The report further concluded that “the failure of the rear elevated decks at 1713-1715 Broad Street was primarily caused by construction flaws...”
Trinity College President Joanne Berger-Sweeney said, “I express my sincere apologies that our students had to experience such a traumatic event and am grateful that all who were injured are back on campus. These students, their families, and all members of our community have my commitment to have all of Trinity’s off-campus buildings regularly inspected so that something like this does not occur again.”
Based on Trinity College’s and the City of Hartford’s records and the work of Cirrus Structural Engineering, the key findings are:
- Construction defects of the rear elevated decks included the lack of vertical load support, the use of improper fasteners, and failure to use protective flashing.
- The rear decks at 1713-1715 Broad Street were reconstructed sometime between 1990 and 2003, although exact dates could not be determined; there is no record of the company responsible for the reconstruction.
- The failure to reconstruct the decks in accordance with sound engineering principles and established “best practice” resulted in corrosion of the deck structure – the wooden beams, ledgers, and nails, which led to the gradual weakening of the deck structure and culminating with the decks being unable to support the weight placed upon them at the time of the accident, per Cirrus Engineering.
Trinity College owns 35 off-campus properties. Sixteen of these properties are residential and currently house Trinity graduate students, faculty, or staff, as well as non-Trinity renters. The remaining buildings are used as offices and academic and social spaces, or are unoccupied. Each property, beginning with those where individuals reside, has been or will be inspected by experts who will examine them for structural integrity, as well as the life safety, electrical, mechanical, and plumbing systems.
“For reasons unclear to us, no inspection was done at the time the 1713-1715 Broad Street building was purchased by the College in 2011,” said Vice President of Finance and Operations Dan Hitchell, who joined the College in July 2016 and oversees facilities. “We are now inspecting all off-campus properties and will enact new procedures to ensure that all buildings that the College owns are safe.”
Thirty-two students experienced a range of injuries as a result of the deck collapse; all have returned to campus and classes. Five students who lived in the 1713-1715 Broad Street property have been relocated to on-campus housing.
Thursday, September 29, 2016
The report from the independent structural engineering firm will be available on this site at 2:00 p.m. EDT.
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Tomorrow, September 29, the College will be releasing an independent report by a structural engineering firm about the cause of the September 10 deck collapse. The report will be posted to this website as soon as it is available.
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
We are grateful nearly all of our students injured on September 10 have returned to campus. Again, we thank the first responders and all who helped those in need. This includes the Counseling Center staff who have provided a great service to any who wished to take advantage of their support and guidance.
The independent investigation of what occurred and why is under way and we’ll share findings once completed. Be assured that since the accident, all College-owned properties in which members of our extended community live have been or are being inspected to ensure the safety of those occupying these residences.
We’ll continue to provide regular updates as we have more information to share.
Sunday, September 18, 2016
In the one week since the balcony collapse occurred at 1713-1715 Broad Street, we recognize how difficult this ordeal has been for the entire Trinity College community. All members of our community -- students, faculty, staff, families, alumni, and friends -- have come together to support one another as all those affected by the accident begin to heal physically and emotionally.
The safety of our community is paramount, and we continue to work with engineers and inspectors to evaluate the safety of all College-owned properties in which our community members are living.
Saturday, September 17, 2016
Trinity College is still investigating the root cause of the balcony collapse at 1713-1715 Broad Street, Hartford. We continue to work closely with structural engineers, inspectors, and municipal authorities.
Our highest priority is still to care for and support all students who were involved in the collapse, as well as the students’ families. Administrators and support staff are working continuously with students and families on follow-up medical care, support for academics, housing, transportation, and counseling resources.
Friday, September 16, 2016
Investigation by Trinity and municipal authorities regarding the cause of the September 10 balcony collapse continues. Reports from engineers and inspectors are anticipated to be received within the next two to three weeks.
As Trinity staff continue to work with affected students, we now know that a total of 32 students have reported physical injuries. Twenty-eight of those students were transported to local hospitals Saturday night and Sunday morning. A few students who were initially offered transportation to the hospital for further medical evaluation declined to go. However, in the days since the accident, additional students have sought evaluation and treatment for physical injuries. One student remains in the hospital for ongoing treatment.
We encourage all of our community members who were affected by this incident and need help to please contact any of the support resources listed on this page.
Trinity College is continuing to work with the City of Hartford as well as structural engineers and home inspectors to evaluate the safety of all College-owned properties in which our community members are living. We are grateful to the City of Hartford for the swift, competent, and caring manner of responders and officials throughout this ordeal.
Trinity’s administrators and staff remain in continuous contact with affected students and their families and are assisting with their immediate and ongoing needs resulting from the incident.