Lowcountry Rep. proposes ‘Coastal Structural Stability Study Committee’ following fatal Florida condo collapse

South Carolina News

SURFSIDE, FLORIDA – JUNE 30: Search and rescue teams look for possible survivors and remains in the partially collapsed 12-story Champlain Towers South condo building on June 30, 2021 in Surfside, Florida. Over 100 people are being reported as missing as the search-and-rescue effort continues. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – South Carolina Representative Wendell Gilliard on Monday proposed a joint resolution to create a Coastal Structural Stability Study Committee to analyze the integrity of coastal South Carolina buildings six floors and higher. The proposal comes in the wake of the deadly collapse of Champlain Towers South, a 12-story condo building in Surfside, Florida.

As of this writing, the death toll of the Champlain Towers South collapse stands at 95 and the number of people unaccounted for remains at 14 after 20 straight days of searching.

If approved, the resolution would create a committee “to examine current measures for inspecting commercial buildings that are six floors or more in height constructed along the South Carolina coast and on the Charleston peninsula to evaluate their structural soundness.”

The committee would “determine whether additional measures, such as period re-inspections, should be required, the standards for such re-inspections, and measures to be taken when buildings are determined to be structurally unsafe following re-inspection.”

A key component of the committee would be transparency, and “ensuring regular occupants of such buildings are made aware of such inspections, their results, and related recommendations for improvements.”

The proposal suggests the committee be comprised of the Chairman of the House Labor, Commerce, and Industry Committee (or a designee), four structural engineers with relevant experience appointed by the Governor, and two people “who are members of homeowners associations in such buildings.”

The committee would only remain active until January 1, 2023.

Gilliard said that “we must be proactive, thorough, and vigilant when inspecting existing buildings and new construction so that what happened in Florida last month does not occur here in Charleston.”

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