Video may help investigators solve collapse of $13m upgrade

Video may help investigators solve collapse of $13m upgrade

Lisa Albert’s title was corrected Feb. 12 at 10:02 p.m.Read about the construction at Amon Carter in the Skiff archives
See photos of the damage

Webcam footage of the collapse of a structure at the south end of Amon Carter Stadium could help determine where the structural failure began, a structural dynamics expert said.

Parts of the west side of the new structure fell around 1:30 a.m. Friday onto existing south end zone seating, spilling debris down to the first few rows of seats. No one was injured.

“In something like this it could be anything from workmanship quality to the basic analysis that was performed on the structure, and only the investigation will clarify that,” said Patrick Walter, a senior design lecturer in the engineering department and expert in structural dynamics.

Lisa Albert, a communications specialist, said it is too early to tell whether Austin Commercial Inc. is at fault for the complex’s collapse.

“Structural engineers and the general contractor involved in the project are conducting a thorough and comprehensive investigation to determine the cause,” Albert wrote in an e-mail to students, faculty and staff Friday. The investigation will help determine if changes are needed in the design of the structure, Albert said.

The footage from the Webcam has been given to investigators and will be released to the public after the investigation is completed, Chancellor Victor Boschini said. The collapse was captured by a Web camera set up in the stadium to show a live view of the construction on the athletics department Web site.

“I don’t know what would be in it that would help or hinder the investigation, but I want to make sure I don’t hinder the investigation just in case,” Boschini said. A request for the footage by the Skiff was denied Friday.

While at a public university the video could be subject to release under the Public Information Act, TCU does not have to release the video because it is a private institution and not subject to the act, which gives citizens the right to access government records, said Adam Goldstein, attorney advocate for the Student Press Law Center.

Construction at the stadium was part of a renovation effort that will include six suites, 250 club seats, a larger academic area for student-athletes and a team meeting room and hospitality area. Construction delays are unknown at this time.

Austin Commercial, the construction company for the Athletics Complex, is also in charge of several projects on campus including four new residence halls and the renovation of Jarvis dormitory.

HKS Architects Inc., a Dallas-based firm, designed the project. The firm also designed the Dallas Cowboys’ new stadium in Arlington.