City Workers Say Downtown Buildings Are Safe - - No One Gets You Closer

City Workers Say Downtown Buildings Are Safe


ARDMORE, OK -- The cleanup continues in downtown Ardmore after a historic building was demolished.     

That building was badly damaged last week when it was hit by a truck. Now city officials are assuring people that other downtown buildings are safe.

Ardmore city workers say people walking the streets of downtown have nothing to worry about after last weeks collapse of the historic VFW building.

"But real structural issues, there's probably four or five of them down there that do have some issues, that have been addressed," said Nick Diaz, director of Development Services.

And Diaz says of those handful of buildings with issues, all are unoccupied.

Out of all the historic buildings in downtown Ardmore, Diaz says 90 percent of them are structurally sound.

"Just because they're losing a few bricks up on those parapets, doesn't mean that the building is unsound," said Diaz.

The VFW building was just one of 15 downtown properties owned by Tim Longest.

Both he and Diaz say last week's collapse was out of the ordinary.

"Lots of buildings are hit by cars, this particular one was hit by one a car in a really vulnerable spot," said Longest.

Several construction projects are taking place along Main Street.

Noble Energy, located just down the street from the collapse site, is constructing a new office building.

"We took a proactive approach to actually have it done and taken down manageably, before it came down on its own," said Terry Wakefield, office manager in Ardmore.

Wakefield says support trusses in this building, which used to be a movie theatre, were sagging.

Once demolition is complete, the building that will take it's place will be completely new from the foundation up.

"It's going to be built to last and built to sustain those types of glancing or even direct hits," said Wakefield.

Longest says there has been discussion of rebuilding on the site of the collapse.

Owners will soon survey the adjacent building to the west with structural engineers.