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STATEMENT TO THE MEDIA BY JOEL GERSHENSON, PRESIDENT OF RAMCO-GERSHENSON

STATEMENT TO THE MEDIA BY JOEL GERSHENSON, PRESIDENT OF RAMCO-GERSHENSON
 WATERFORD, Mich., March 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is a statement to the media by Joel Gershenson, president of Ramco- Gershenson, Inc., regarding Summit Place Mall:
 The initial phase investigation regarding the collapse of a localized section of roof at the Summit Place Mall has been completed. The collapse occurred in the original portion of the mall, between the Hudson's and Montgomery Ward courts. A 160-foot section on the south side of the Garden Court and a similar 120-foot section on the north side of the Garden Court were the two areas of the mall affected.
 Our first concern was for the safety of our customers and store employees. The structural framing system for the rest of the mall was of a totally different construction and completely independent of the collapsed portion. Therefore, we made the decision together with the Waterford Township building inspector and the fire marshal to keep the unaffected part of the mall open. Our customers, who continued to shop in the mall, in the five department stores and 120 shops still open, were absolutely safe at all times.
 We have been in constant contact with the Waterford Township Building Department, keeping them apprised of our investigation and determinations.
 Based on the examinations to date, we have attributed the collapse to separation of internal scarf joints in the laminated girder.
 Further, the structural analysis to date demonstrates that there is no deficiency in the original design, and that the specified girder size has a calculated capacity adequate to withstand all Building Code prescribed loadings.
 There is no evidence that this is anything other than an isolated incident, and there is no evidence of deterioration with the other beams. However, since there is no known reliable non-destructive test which would ensure the structural integrity, and because we are taking every precaution possible in our concern for the safety of the public, the consultants for the Summit Place ownership in concurrence with the Building Department have developed an engineering solution to protect against any possible future failure.
 This reinforcement will consist of two new structural steel columns and footings under each of the laminated girders. Today these will be viewed as steel posts. Shortly, they will appear to our shoppers as decorative columns. As a secondary measure, a full structural inspection of all remaining laminated wood beams is also being performed.
 Plans have been developed and construction is under way to implement this structural reinforcement. Our experts will continue to investigate this occurrence and will observe the reconstruction activities to enable the wood-framed sections of the mall to reopen as expeditiously as possible. In fact, some 20 stores are expected to open this weekend with the remaining eight scheduled to open as early as next week.
 -0- 3/5/92
 /CONTACT: Rita Boyles of Summit Place Mall, 313-682-0123/ CO: Summit Place Mall; Ramco-Gershenson, Inc. ST: Michigan IN: SU:


JG -- DE024 -- 5578 03/05/92 15:40 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 5, 1992
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