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County Building Evacuated After Odd, Wavering Bulge Appears In Facade

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Lots of eyes are on a county building in downtown Cleveland today, which looks like it’s buckling and swelling on one side. Ideastream’s Brian Bull checked it out and has this report.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Dozens of pedestrians along with fire crews, police officers, and news teams on Euclid Avenue gazed up at the five-story Sterling building, at something most, if not all, had never seen before.

Passerby Trevor Lyons, a civil engineer, was intrigued.

“It’s almost like it…it’s breathing," said Lyons. "Every time a big gust of wind comes, it’s swelling in and out. Obviously there’s something wrong with the structural integrity.”

The building near Playhouse Square houses Cuyahoga County’s 911 and Emergency Communications System. Those have now been moved to a backup location, says County Executive Ed Fitzgerald.

“About 11 o’clock today, some employees noticed that the outside of building was shifting a little bit, pulled the fire alarm, and everybody was evacuated," recalls Fitzgerald. "And now we’ve got structural engineers that are going to be checking out whether or not it’s a structural issue or if it’s just something on the veneer of the building.”

The Sterling Building is one of several county-owned sites that Fitzgerald has proposed selling to consolidate operations.

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