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Sunday December 5th

Crack in Hamilton Hall stairwell isn't dangerous, source says

In the ground floor of a Hamilton stairwell, a strange "Danger!" sign is written next to cracks in the foundation.
Buy Photos In the ground floor of a Hamilton stairwell, a strange "Danger!" sign is written next to cracks in the foundation.

A large crack in Hamilton Hall’s first-floor stairwell has spread between several bricks. 

The crack, first noticed somewhere between 2013 and 2015, has been found to pose no danger to either occupants of Hamilton or the building’s structural integrity, said Allison Reid, executive director of marketing and communications for the Division of Finance and Administration.

This is despite the shakily hand-written text on the wall that reads “DANGER: FOUNDATION” in black paint. The text is accompanied by a “no” sign in the same paint, drawn as a circle with a line through it.

“The crack was examined a year ago, and at that time it was determined that the wall is non-load bearing,” Reid said. 

After reviewing the crack to determine if it had spread, the University's facilities services re-caulked and repainted the wall this week.

Hamilton Hall was built in 1968. The building, which houses the departments of history, political science and sociology, doesn’t satisfy students, such as Brenna Elmore, with its upkeep. 

Elmore is a sophomore majoring in media and journalism who has classes in Hamilton Hall.

“I’ve had two recitations on the fifth floor,” Elmore said. “And I’ve feared for my life both times because the elevator’s scary, the building’s scary, and when I looked out a bathroom window — which is always open for some reason — I saw, like, pieces of the building falling down.”

Hamilton Hall's elevators were renovated in 1990. According to Facilities Services' website, one of its elevators became stuck between floors in February. 

Junior Georgia Brunner, a public policy and history double major, agrees. 

"It's pretty spooky, and I would prefer not to die in the ugliest building on campus," she said.

First-year Jesse Akes, a computer science major, is less fearful about the crack and less skeptical about the building. 

“I’m not too concerned," Akes said. "If it wasn’t deemed an issue, it was unlikely to be an issue.”  

Professor Kathleen DuVal expressed similar concerns about Hamilton Hall.  

“The women’s bathrooms on the 4th and 5th floors are particularly broken down and horrible," DuVal said.

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