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Humanities Building to undergo repairs

April 30, 2021 By John Lucas

An engineering review of the University of Wisconsin—Madison’s Mosse Humanities Building has identified potential structural concerns with a portion of the northwest section of the building that require immediate attention.

After a tour of the building, staff from Facilities Planning & Management and the state Department of Administration, along with a consulting engineer from a private firm, have determined that an expansion joint on the 6th floor of the west side of the building has failed, creating a potentially unsafe situation.

Out of an abundance of caution, the 1st, 2nd, 6th and 7th floors on the northwest side of the Humanities building will be closed to staff, students and the public effective at 4 p.m. on Friday, April 30. These areas will remain closed to allow for repair work to take place. Faculty and staff affected by the changes have been notified. (Note that there are no 3rd through 5th floors on the west side of the building.)

Mitigations are expected to be in-place by the beginning of the Fall 2021 semester. The estimated cost of the repair is not yet known.

As a result of Covid-19, the building has not been heavily used this academic year. None of the identified spaces are scheduled to be used for final exams, which begin May 2.

The potential safety issue was first identified Tuesday by staff conducting routine spring maintenance on the exterior of the Humanities Building. The state Department of Administration contracted the engineering firm to conduct the review of the building, which is continuing.

Exterior of Humanities Building with closed area outlined in red