Condo board boss warned of worsening damage before collapse

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Weeks before a Florida condo building collapsed, the president of its board wrote that structural problems identified in a 2018 inspection had “gotten significantly worse” and owners needed to pay a hefty price to get them fixed.

The April 9 letter from Champlain Towers South Condominium President Jean Wodnicki hinted at an ongoing debate over the repairs and a reluctance by some condo owners to pay for major work that would cost at least $15.5 million.

She noted that costs had only increased since a 2018 report by engineering firm Morabito Consultants first identified the key issues with weakening concrete.

Associated Press reporter Bernard Condon reads from the letter.

“A lot of this work could have been done or planned for in years gone by. But this is where we are now,” Wodnicki wrote in the letter, which was confirmed to The Associated Press by a spokesman for the condo board.

Just over two months later and with bids for the work still pending, the 12-story Champlain Towers South building in Surfside came tumbling down early last Thursday.

While the structural problems from the 2018 inspection have come under intense scrutiny, no definitive cause has been identified for the collapse that has left at least 11 people confirmed dead and more than 150 unaccounted for.

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