Built in 1966, the building came under scrutiny when parts of its balconies began falling off.
City officials last week ordered all residents of a 55-year-old condominium building in Waukesha, Wisconsin to evacuate immediately or risk death from “imminent collapse”.
The Red Cross and Salvation Army helped house the evacuees after they were ordered out of the the Horizon West Condominium Building at 315 N. West Avenue on the afternoon of 2 December.
Two neighbouring buildings were also evacuated owing to the collapse threat, the city said.
Reportedly built in 1966, the building came under scrutiny when parts of its balconies began falling off. The city ordered residents not to use the balconies in June 2020, and in September this year it ordered fencing to be erected protect the public from falling debris, the city said.
In October this year, the Horizon West Condominium Association began removing the balconies, which is when “multiple structural violations” were discovered.
Engineers found deficiencies in the structural frame of the building as well as its structural columns.
More inspections by the fire department and the city’s independent structural engineer took place throughout November.
On Thursday, 2 December, the city received additional data, leading to the evacuation order, which the city termed “life-saving action”.
Contractors hired by condo owners have since installed structural shoring on the building to provide some immediate structural integrity.