Downtown Dayton demolition accident: Developer says steel column ‘kicked away’

Unexpected problems arose Monday afternoon during the demolition of the former Wright State University Kettering Center in downtown Dayton when a structural steel column “kicked away” from other columns, according to the project developer.

The building, at the corner of East Monument Avenue and North St. Clair Street, is being torn down to make way for a new six-story apartment project.

Brent Crawford, principal of developer Crawford Hoying, said they are still investigating the extent of the damage, but it appears to be minor.

The incident led to RTA lines being knocked down and damage to a sculpture at RiverScape MetroPark.

Crawford said the building was in the process of being demolished and did not collapse.

The old Wright State Kettering Center at the corner on St. Clair and Monument, collapsed Monday knocking down RTA lines and damaging a sculpture across Monument Ave. in the Riverscape Metro Park. No one was injured. The building was being removed by a demo crew. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF
The old Wright State Kettering Center at the corner on St. Clair and Monument, collapsed Monday knocking down RTA lines and damaging a sculpture across Monument Ave. in the Riverscape Metro Park. No one was injured. The building was being removed by a demo crew. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

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He said Complete Clearing is the contractor on the project and, prior to demolition, they pulled a city permit to close all lanes of one-way traffic on Monument Avenue.

“This is a standard precaution we follow when demolishing a building close to the street,” he said.

Crawford said the incident did not lead to any citations, and he does not expect any to be forthcoming.

Proper safety precautions were put in place before demolition commenced, and they will remain in place for the rest of the project, he said.

Safety measures included installing security fencing around the perimeter of the jobsite, conducting onsite safety walks and closing sidewalks and all lanes of one-way traffic, he said.

“Even with all precautions in place, accidents unfortunately can still occur,” he said.

Demolition work did not go as planned Monday at the former Wright State University Kettering Center in downtown Dayton. Large metal beams, bricks, concrete and other building debris collapsed onto Monument Avenue, taking down RTA lines and heavily damaging a sculpture at RiverScape MetroPark across the street.
Demolition work did not go as planned Monday at the former Wright State University Kettering Center in downtown Dayton. Large metal beams, bricks, concrete and other building debris collapsed onto Monument Avenue, taking down RTA lines and heavily damaging a sculpture at RiverScape MetroPark across the street.

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

During demolition, pieces sometimes fall differently than anticipated, which is why they obtained a lane-closure permit, he said.

The remaining building material will be removed, and construction on the new apartment building should start in January, he said.

“We will continue to maintain the highest safety standards and look forward to moving forward on this exciting project in downtown Dayton,” he said.

Demolition work did not go as planned Monday at the former Wright State University Kettering Center in downtown Dayton.Large metal beams, bricks, concrete and other building debris collapsed onto Monument Avenue, taking down RTA lines and heavily damaging a sculpture at RiverScape MetroPark across the street.
Demolition work did not go as planned Monday at the former Wright State University Kettering Center in downtown Dayton.Large metal beams, bricks, concrete and other building debris collapsed onto Monument Avenue, taking down RTA lines and heavily damaging a sculpture at RiverScape MetroPark across the street.

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

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