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Miami Dade College will shut down the newest building on its downtown campus after a crane being used at a nearby building site on Biscayne Boulevard bent and collapsed in Hurricane Irma’s heavy winds.
Building 8 at the college’s Wolfson Campus will be closed Monday when classes are scheduled to resume. Though the building was not damaged, it is the facility closest to the crane, which is still propped up, and school officials say they don’t want to take any chances.
“It’s pretty clear that it will be off limits,” said Juan Mendieta, college spokesman. “We are already scrambling to relocate classes from that building to other locations on campus and maybe even at other campuses. The fact that there are still pieces of a crane that weigh a ton, suspended in the air, is a huge safety concern.”
The only thing separating the construction site from building 8 — which houses the college’s Idea Center, Miami Fashion Institute and Miami Animation and Gaming International Complex — is the Metromover track.
Whether another building north of the site — building 3 — will also be closed is still being discussed.
“Some of the brick facade was damaged. It appears to be some type of impact from the crane,” Mendieta said, adding that the college expects several inspectors to determine if the building can be used.
The crane at 300 Biscayne Blvd. was one of three cranes that collapsed during Irma’s strong winds Sunday. A second crane fell at a condo tower in Miami’s Edgewater neighborhood and a third at an oceanfront Fort Lauderdale condo.
It’s unclear when the building will reopen.
“For us we have no timetable on safety. Whatever the inspectors deem is the best course of action we will follow,” Mendieta said.