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Code Violations At Northrop Auditorium?

I've posted before on this situation and written to the Attorney General's office about it.

They responded with some helpful suggestions about how to proceed and the first one was to contact the person responsible for code enforcement at the U, Mr. Merwyn Larson.

So I've written the following letter to Mr. Larson:


Mr. Merwyn Larson
Building Official
University of Minnesota
Building Code Division
319 15th Avenue SE
RM 270 Donhowe Building
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Dear Mr. Larson:

I write to you at the suggestion of the office of the Attorney General, Lori Swanson.

I write concerning possible violations of code at Northrop auditorium as well as what has been claimed to be life safety issues:

"The University is very concerned about the fragility of the building. Northrop is egregiously out of compliance with code and life-safety requirements and code officials could close the building at any time."

Steven Rosenstone, Vice President for Cultural/Scholarly Affairs
University of Minnesota

This statement was made by VP Rosenstone and recorded in publicly available minutes of the University of Minnesota Senate Committee on Finance and Planning, January 25. 2010.

These claims by a university official are shocking. If true, then the University should immediately close Northrop until it can be gotten up to code and life-safety issues addressed. To do otherwise is irresponsible.

I first contacted the City of Minneapolis to report these possible code violations. There I was told that since the building belongs to the State of Minnesota, the City of Minneapolis could not do anything. The State Attorney General's Office has suggested that I contact your office for help in this matter.

I trust that you will pursue this matter as soon as possible and I look forward to a response concerning this matter.

Please acknowledge receipt of this message.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

William B. Gleason

Mr. Larson is the person designated by the university who is responsible for administering the Code at the University of Minnesota. The designated Building Official has the authority to serve an order on any person responsible for a building or structure in violation of Code.

A Building Official's certificate may be revoked if he or she violates any provisions of the Code or otherwise engages in fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. In the event that Mr. Larson's response is unsatisfactory, I will next be contacting the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry as suggested by the Office of the Attorney General.

I will keep readers of this bog apprised of progress or lack of it in this important matter of public safety.

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