Strong winds sometime after midnight Friday night leveled all the steel beams that were erected for a building that’s part of the Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill indoor sports complex, which is under construction.
Nobody was injured by the collapse, which neighbors said sounded like a bombing — a white flash, followed by a what sounded like a boom that shook homes as if there were an earthquake.
“I honestly thought we got bombed,” said Ricky Kenney. “I don’t typically get scared by storms or whatever, but at 12:30 in the morning, when the whole town is shaking ... it shook me.”
Spooky Nook owner Sam Beiler spoke about the damage on Friday during an online meeting of the Hamilton Community Authority.
“Yesterday, the National Weather Service warned of high winds causing potential widespread damage, such as falling trees, power lines and more,” Beiler said. “Shortly after midnight this morning, the structural steel on Building 500 fell.”
Building 500, where installation of trusses was nearly finished, will house the indoor turf field. It is near the southern tip of the complex that’s located west of North B Street. It is a large structure, but a small percentage of the total Spooky Nook complex, which is to open around the end of the year and be the largest in North America.
It is to include a hotel, restaurants, stores, a fitness center, child care, training areas for athletes, and many courts and fields where 10,000 or more athletes and their families can compete on weekends.
“No one was on the property at the time, and there were no injuries,” Beiler added. “An analysis of the cause and impact on the project’s schedule will occur over the next couple of days, at which time we’ll provide more information.”
Beiler said he expected engineers and insurance officials to be on site Friday.
Aside from Friday’s damage, construction has been moving along very well, Beiler told the authority’s members.
Building 300 is the gigantic structure that will include hardwood courts and other surfaces for athletic competitions, as well as conventions and other large events. At that building, masonry walls are finished, as is the truss installation and siding on its west side, with the roof following soon, Beiler said.
At Building 400, which will house the fitness area, performance training and child-watch areas, the roof decking is finished, which means the sprinkler piping, electrical conduit to be installed, Beiler said.
In what is to be the hotel, what will be polished concrete floors have been poured. First- and second-floor rooms have been framed.
“Despite some setbacks, we’re really pleased with the progress that they’ve been making, and pretty happy with where we are,” Beiler said. “The progress has been significant since the work really got under way in earnest last year.”
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