When students return to Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus—presumably Sept. 18—they will be greeted by a dangling, misshapen crane suspended next to a skyscraper that sits just a few feet from the College’s sprawling downtown campus.
The metal mess is a reminder of the damage caused by the ferocious winds of Hurricane Irma. It bent and collapsed during the storm. In an abundance of caution College officials said that building 8, which stands directly in front of the building with the dangling crane, will be closed. Classes scheduled there will be temporarily relocated to other areas of the campus.
“A dangling portion of the damaged crane hangs on the facade of the building nearest our Wolfson Campus building 8,” said Miami Dade College’s Director of Communications Juan Mendieta. “We are told it has been secured, but must likely be removed entirely before building 8 can be used. Safety is our top priority.”
College officials are still trying to determine if the crane caused any damage to building 8.
The dangling crane was part of a construction project for a high-rise building that sits just east of northeast second avenue and is sandwiched between northeast 4th and 3rd streets. The only thing that separates the crane from building 8 is a metromover track.
Sitting just a few feet north of the complex with the dangling crane is the College’s building 3. It sustained damage to its facade during the storm. Several red bricks from the recognizable structure were chipped away and strewn on the sidewalk that neighbors the facility. College officials believe the damage was done by residue from the crane, but building 3 has not been closed at this time. Neither has the campus’ main building which sits directly in front of building 8, just west of northeast second avenue.
Building 8 is a hulking, six-story facility that went online in the fall semester in 2012. It features various glasses panes and was originally slated to be home to a state-of-the art Student Support Center, however, plans for the building changed.
Today it is home to several of the College’s innovative academic programs like the Fashion Institute, the Idea Center and the Miami Animation Gaming International Complex. The Wolfson Archives are also located there.
Building 3 also houses several prominent programs and areas like the Arts and Philosophy Department, the English and Communications Department, the Earth Ethics Institute and the New Student Center. The Chapman Conference Center, which has hosted various prominent figures such as former president George W. Bush, senator Bernie Sanders and author Tom Wolfe, is also housed there.
Wolfson Campus was not the only campus that sustained damage due to Hurricane Irma. All MDC campuses had landscaping destroyed and water intrusion from the hurricane. Uprooted trees were the main culprit. Most debris has been removed and fans have been used to dry wet areas.
“Outside of the Wolfson Campus, at this time, it doesn’t appear that any of the damages are major,” Mendieta said. “It’s just inconveniences that are associated with a storm.”
As of late Thursday multiple buildings at the Homestead and Kendall campuses were still without power.
“We’re optimistic that those buildings will have power in the next couple of days,” Mendieta said.