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Mystery object cracked glass panel of East Walnut parking garage

Thursday, September 19, 2013 | 8:22 p.m. CDT; updated 5:58 a.m. CDT, Friday, September 20, 2013
City parking staff believes it's plausible a bird could have caused the glass panel on the ninth floor of the northwest stairwell to crack.

COLUMBIA — After reviewing security footage from the East Walnut parking garage, city parking staff believes it's plausible a bird could have caused the glass panel on the ninth floor of the northwest stairwell to crack.

According to a news release from Columbia Public Works, around 4 a.m. Sept. 12, a Parking Utility maintenance staff member noticed a panel of glass in the northwest stairwell was cracked.

Briste Glass was contacted, and a work order was created to replace the broken glass panel. Each panel is 5 feet by 8 feet and weighs 300 pounds. 

About 24 hours later, approximately seven hours after the work order was placed, the glass panel broke and fell. As pieces of glass fell, they broke a panel on a lower level.

No one was injured as a result of the two glass panels falling. None of the glass panels that make up "Sky Algorithm," an art piece on the northwest side of the garage designed by Stuart Keeler, was damaged. 

According to the news release, the Parking Utility staff reviewed security footage of the garage and determined the glass panel was struck by an unknown object on Wednesday evening. 

Staff members were unable to confirm whether a bird struck the window. They found a deceased bird about the size of a swallow on the sidewalk along Fifth Street near the parking garage.

Since the building's construction in 2011, this is the first time a glass panel has been damaged.

In an email, Public Works spokesman Steven Sapp said the city has not hired a structural engineer to evaluate the building or the frames that hold the glass panels. 

According to the news release, Director of Public Works John Glascock has directed maintenance staff to create a policy that will require the immediate removal of any glass panel that is discovered cracked or shattered.

Supervising editor is Stephanie Ebbs.


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