Section of Neil Steet closed indefinitely after fire

By James VandeBerg

A section of Neil Street in downtown Champaign has been closed indefinitely after an engineering survey showed some walls of the building located 215 N. Neil St. are at risk of collapse.

The survey, conducted on Sunday, assessed the impact the Metropolitan Building’s collapse after a fire on Nov. 7 had on the Law Office building located next door. The collapse left a side of the building exposed.

“The decision about whether to repair, rebuild or demolish remains the building owner’s decision,” the city said in a press release.

“The north and east third-floor walls of the Law Office are susceptible to collapse at any time. Collapse is most likely during high winds, heavy snows, or snow accumulation followed by drizzle soaking the snow,” said Frauenhoffer and Associates, P.C. in their assessment statement, provided in a press release.

No date for re-opening the closed section has been given, said John Mills, lieutenant for the Champaign Fire Department.

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“I believe they’re waiting on a follow-up analysis on the building to decide where to go,” Mills said.