SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Multiple agencies responded to the Federal Courthouse in downtown Savannah Tuesday afternoon.
A portion of the third floor fell down at the building on Bull Street.
Three workers were injured during the collapse, though their injuries are not critical, according to the Savannah Fire Department (SFD).
The cause of the collapse is still being investigated.
“The floor falling in shouldn’t have happened,” said Batallion Chief Wayne Ifill with SFD. “So we all know this building has been under renovations for several years, or at least a year now. And we don’t know what exactly the action was to cause that collapse to happen.”
The WSAV Investigative Unit has learned the contractor working to renovate the Tomochichi Federal Building is Birmingham-based Brasfield & Gorrie, according to the United States General Services Administration, which is overseeing the project.
We’ve found the contractor has been cited and fined by OSHA several times in the last five years, including for what the Occupational Safety and Health Administration considered serious safety violations.
The building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, dates back to 1899.
This current update was funded in 2016 at an estimated price tag of more than $75.6 million. More than $23.6 million going into gutting and rebuilding the inside of the structure. Work at the site started in 2021.
Renovations on the list include replacing the entire building’s electrical, heating, air, ventilation, fire protection, and elevator systems.
The 128,061 square foot of space inside was being redesigned to add room for additional federal offices.
In February of this year, streets and businesses around the building had to be shut down after a temporary support system failed. Work at the site resumed several days later.