County Executive Scott Walker and County Board Chairman Lee Holloway on Wednesday announced Milwaukee County’s plan to have an external engineering firm begin a safety inspection of all county buildings to determine potential issues impacting public safety. This inspection will include all buildings that have not received a façade inspection within the last 5 years and is in addition to the audit request initiated by Chairman Holloway on Friday.
Written notification will be sent immediately to all organizations currently leasing County-owned buildings including the War Memorial, Marcus Center for the Performing Arts and the Milwaukee Public Museum requiring confirmation of the same type of general building exterior site inspection.
The scope of work for the general exterior building site inspection will include:
- Initial visual examination covering all applicable building elevations including exterior façade components, cornices, soffits and other overhangs and features.
- Remote visual examinations will be performed on the entire façade from ground and/or roof levels.
- Assuming that certain conditions of distress and/or deterioration cannot be detected solely by remote visual examination, close up “armslength” visual examinations will be performed on selected buildings in selected areas as determined by the inspector in the field.
- Additional examinations will be performed where deemed necessary by the inspector for wall areas with external visible distress, as evidenced by suspicious bowing, bulging, leaning, displacement or discoloration.
- If warranted, a visual examination of concealed façade components will be performed by either using an inspection probe or by removing exterior and/or interior façade components.
The time frame for completing this work will be 6 to 8 weeks. In order to perform this work within this expedited schedule, Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW) Director Jack Takerian plans to immediately contract with GRAEF-USA, Inc, a qualified engineering and architectural consulting firm headquartered in Milwaukee County, based on their familiarity with all county buildings. DTPW staff met with GRAEF-USA on Thursday to begin work immediately.