Sunday, March 3

Wellington Regional Medical Center parking garage vacated, deemed unsafe

Visitors, employees and patients going to Wellington Regional Medical Center on the corner of Forest Hill Boulevard and State Road 7 can’t park in the hospital’s garage, after it was determined a stairwell was in danger of collapsing and could cause imminent danger.

Pamela Rada, director of marketing for Wellington Regional Medical Center, released the following statement:

“Out of an abundance of caution, the parking garage is closed as it undergoes planned repairs for the stairwell. We expect the closure will be temporary. In the meantime, our hospital remains fully open and dedicated to patient care. “

On Monday, a letter from the Village of Wellington Building Official Jacek Tomasik explained the village received a report from Engineer Michael Spicyn, who examined the garage. He indicated Spicyn’s report noted the following:

Stair is in danger of collapse – it is not matter of if but when. Stairs should receive some kind of shoring to prevent possibility of stair collapsing and taking with them portions of main structure.

Tomasik determined, “the structure to be unsafe and an imminent danger to the human life, health, safety, welfare of the public, responding emergency personnel, and surrounding properties.”

He ordered the garage to be vacated immediately and repaired or demolished within 90 days.

To bring the garage into compliance, Tomasik wrote a structural evaluation and repair plan for the structure, completed by an engineer licensed by the State of Florida must be complete along with all required building permits obtained prior to commencing any demolition or construction repairs.

Monday evening, Spicyn sent a follow up letter to the hospital that said he reinspected both stairwells.

“I found that temporary shoring installed in stairwell #1 is sufficient to keep it from imminent collapse. You are authorized to file this letter with Wellington Building Department. I will talk tomorrow with your contractor regarding proper documentation and procedures to obtain Building Permit,” Spicyn said in the letter.

Spicyn sent another letter on Tuesday with the following:

“Yesterday, I have re-inspected both stairwells and main Garage at the above referenced property. Inspections reveal no damages to stairwell #2 and main garage building. Considering its age, the structure is in surprisingly good condition and is safe to be occupied. Today we will try to determine the source of water penetrating stairwell #1. Only then I will be able to provide recommendations for remedial work. You are authorized to file this letter with Wellington Building Department.”

Signs showed a spot for hospital parking in the Mall at Wellington Green parking lot across the street, with shuttles available for transportation to the hospital.

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