Heavy crane causes light damage to Wellness Center

Becky Campbell • Apr 25, 2012 at 9:26 PM

The plan was to install a new air conditioning unit on top of the Wellness Center Wednesday, but things didn’t go quite the way they were supposed to, according to Mountain States Health Alliance officials.

Indeed, the unit was placed on the roof, but the crane used to complete the task ended up on two outriggers and the boom landed on the top corner of the building.

It happened around noon at the health center on Med Tech Parkway. Patrons were inside the building at the time, but reportedly no one — except those in the parking lot — realized what had happened.

Thankfully, MSHA spokesman Ed Herbert said, no one was injured.

Bill Alton, vice president over facilities and construction, assessed the building and determined there were no serious structural issues as a result of the accident.

“We’re open for business. It’s a safe facility,” Alton said.

As a precaution, the basketball court and a classroom studio were cordoned off from use.

Inside the building, the damage was hardly evident, but outside — aside from a crane boom sitting on the corner of the roof — several rows of brick were crushed.

Alton said the crane was owned and operated by Hilt Crane & Wrecker Service from Abingdon, Va. The company was contracted by HVAC Inc. to place the air conditioning unit onto the roof.

The work was being done as part of a renovation and expansion of the facility to provide for the “expanded needs of our membership,” said building supervisor Kevin Harkness.

Alton said workers would use another crane to lower the tilted crane before repairs to the building could begin.

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