Surfside condo that collapsed was going through recertification process

The condo that collapsed in Surfside on Thursday morning was going through the 40-year recertification process that is required of South Florida buildings, Local 10 News has learned.

The Champlain Towers South building at 8777 Collins Ave. was built in 1981 with 12 stories and more than 130 units.

As part of the recertification process mandated after 40 years, the building hires engineers (electrical and structural) and they go through the facility from top to bottom. After the report is analyzed, repair work that was suggested is done.

That’s what was happening at this time, with work being done on the roof and elsewhere in the condo, officials say.

The condo board was apparently on top of it, investing thousands of dollars to do recommended repairs.

[ALSO SEE: After Surfside collapse do you need to worry about your building?]

Surfside Commissioner Eliana Salzhauer said she was told a building inspector may have been onsite at the Champlain Towers as recently as Wednesday.

Questions are now being raised about whether the construction of a new building next door could have weakened this building.

“This building has been under a lot of scrutiny lately with the 40-year recertification of the building and with the 88 Park building going up next door to the south,” Surfside Commissioner Charles Kesl told Local 10 News. “There were garage underground issues related to that, to make sure that it was done soundly.

“And, to my understanding, there were some cracks from that project — minor cracks — that were just patched up. Nothing, based on my understanding, to the magnitude that would indicate that there was a structural problem that could result in something so catastrophic.”

Salzhauer said that residents of the building she’s spoken to were not aware of any sort of problems that would cause damage like this.

“I want to know why this happened. That’s really the only question,” she said. “Why did this happen, can it happen again, and are any other buildings in town in jeopardy? That is the key thing.”

[ALSO SEE: Photos of Surfside building collapse]

This is a developing news story. Check back and watch Local 10 for updates.

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