Cost to repair Waukesha condos outweigh worth, contractor says

The people evacuated from their condemned condominiums in Waukesha are being told they’ll never be able to live there again.The contractor said the cost of repairs to the Horizon West Condominium building will far outweigh the building’s worth.”At this point, it has been determined that there is no repairing the building,” condo owner Alicia Halvensleben said.Halvensleben said she’s essentially lost her home.”Yeah, we have our furniture, our keepsakes, our belongings are all still in there,” she said.Structural engineers discovered hidden, rusting building supports.After seeing the deteriorating conditions up close, engineers urgently warned the six-story building could collapse at any time. The city then ordered an emergency evacuation.The beginning of the end started two years ago with a summer storm that ripped apart some of the balconies, exposing rusted supports.The city condemned the balconies and eventually hired Steve McGuire’s company a few months ago to get rid of the balconies.”As we demoed the balconies, and we took down the steel that was absolutely just no good, we had exposed a column, and we found that column to be in very bad shape,” McGuire said.McGuire said the walls and other cosmetic features hid a much bigger problem than rusted balconies.The building, designed and built in 1966, allowed water to seep in, and the primary support structures were rusted and crumbling.”If we had not caught this when we did, there would have been a balcony that would have collapsed and continued to fall down and pancake on other ones. And then at that point could have compromised one of the columns which was already in a weakened condition. You could have lost part of the building. There could have been a loss of life,” McGuire said.The city and the contractor are trying to come up with a plan to safely allow owners to go inside and get their furniture and other belongings. The condo owners said they’re already fighting with the insurance companies, and they’re going to need some financial help and new homes.

The people evacuated from their condemned condominiums in Waukesha are being told they’ll never be able to live there again.

The contractor said the cost of repairs to the Horizon West Condominium building will far outweigh the building’s worth.

“At this point, it has been determined that there is no repairing the building,” condo owner Alicia Halvensleben said.

Halvensleben said she’s essentially lost her home.

“Yeah, we have our furniture, our keepsakes, our belongings are all still in there,” she said.

Structural engineers discovered hidden, rusting building supports.

After seeing the deteriorating conditions up close, engineers urgently warned the six-story building could collapse at any time.

The city then ordered an emergency evacuation.

The beginning of the end started two years ago with a summer storm that ripped apart some of the balconies, exposing rusted supports.

The city condemned the balconies and eventually hired Steve McGuire’s company a few months ago to get rid of the balconies.

“As we demoed the balconies, and we took down the steel that was absolutely just no good, we had exposed a column, and we found that column to be in very bad shape,” McGuire said.

McGuire said the walls and other cosmetic features hid a much bigger problem than rusted balconies.

The building, designed and built in 1966, allowed water to seep in, and the primary support structures were rusted and crumbling.

“If we had not caught this when we did, there would have been a balcony that would have collapsed and continued to fall down and pancake on other ones. And then at that point could have compromised one of the columns which was already in a weakened condition. You could have lost part of the building. There could have been a loss of life,” McGuire said.

The city and the contractor are trying to come up with a plan to safely allow owners to go inside and get their furniture and other belongings.

The condo owners said they’re already fighting with the insurance companies, and they’re going to need some financial help and new homes.