Clatsop Community College could be facing an expensive repair of a deteriorating rock wall in front of Towler Hall on its main campus.
The rock wall, several feet tall, fronts Towler Hall on Jerome Avenue and 16th Street, holding back the building’s front yard. It has been in place since before the college, when Astoria High School was located at the corner.
“It’s a combination of heavy rains and weather-related wear and tear on a very old wall,” said JoAnn Zahn, the college’s vice president of finance and operations. “Some of the very heavy basalt rock came off the top, which if that were to hit someone would be devastating.”
Christopher Breitmeyer, the college president, said maintenance staff first noticed issues in August, near the end of the Patriot Hall redevelopment project. The college had a cyclone fence in front of the site during the construction but kept it in place to protect passers-by from any falling rock.
The college initially discussed having its historic preservation program repair the wall but decided it would be too difficult to do in-house, Zahn said. The entire wall needs to be looked at because of the potential failure, she said.
The college board voted Tuesday to have staff seek proposals for fixing the wall, with the cost expected to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The college will bring back the findings to the board before moving forward with a fix.