News from Montgomery College

900 Hungerford Drive, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850 

Date: February 26, 2003 (03-14)
Contact: Steve Simon, 240-567-7952 (Pager 301-930-3880)

MC-Germantown Campus PE Building Temporarily Closed
Roof Condition Being Evaluated by Structural Engineers
in Aftermath of Recent Storms

(Germantown, Maryland) -- The Physical Education building on Montgomery College’s Germantown Campus has been closed temporarily, while structural engineers evaluate the condition of the roof and the building, as a result of damage from the weight of snow and rain from the recent storms. The campus had first closed the gymnasium, within the building, on Friday, Feb. 21 for evaluation and roof repairs, after a significant amount of leaking had occurred in that area.

Last night (February 25), at approximately 9 p.m., the rest of the building was evacuated and closed after staff working in the swimming pool area reported hearing cracking sounds and seeing dust coming down from the ceiling. Approximately five patrons were using the pool, at the time. Campus security immediately evacuated the facility and contacted Montgomery County Fire and Rescue officials, who responded to the scene and called in a Montgomery County building inspector. In consultation with County officials, the decision was made to close the building until a structural engineer could fully assess the situation and determine what repairs were needed before the building could be reopened.

The building will remain closed until further notice. All swimming classes and other uses of the pool, as well as activities in the gymnasium or other areas of the building have been cancelled, in the meantime. Further information on the building’s opening status and/or relocation of classes or other programs will be announced, as soon as those determinations are made.

"Our first concern is the safety of our students and all members of the college community who use these facilities," said Dr. Hercules Pinkney, vice president and provost of MC’s Germantown Campus. "Once we have full assurance that the building is absolutely safe for occupancy, we look forward to resuming normal operations. We regret the inconvenience for our students and our community, but we are certain that everyone affected would agree with the decision to temporarily close the building."

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