Alumni House Ceiling Collapse Shifts Some Offices

Some staff will find temporary space at Erwin Square during repair

This photo, taken by David Lindquist, assistant vice president for regional engagement with the Duke Alumni Association, shows an office space in the Forlines House impacted by a collapsed ceiling. Some Alumni staff will move to new workspaces as repairs
This photo, taken by David Lindquist, assistant vice president for regional engagement with the Duke Alumni Association, shows an office space in the Forlines House impacted by a collapsed ceiling. Some Alumni staff will move to new workspaces as repairs

About 20 staff of the Duke Alumni Association will move to temporary offices after a portion of a plaster ceiling collapsed last week on the second floor of the Forlines House.

The room was empty and no employees were injured in the accident, which occurred around noon on May 28, said Scott Greenwood, chief operating officer for the Alumni Association. Only one office space was impacted, although some cracking and sagging of the ceiling was spotted by Duke Facilities Management engineers in a nearby office on the second floor, which is now entirely closed off. 

Greenwood said he expects repairs at 614 Chapel Dr. to take about six months, during which about 20 staff will use temporary space in Wing B of Erwin Square Plaza at 2200 W. Main St. Other staff will continue to work on the first floor of the Forlines House and adjacent carriage house. 

Duke community members who need to contact staff can continue to try employees directly or call the Association’s front desk at (919) 684-5114. A full staff directory is available online

As some Alumni staff wait for new offices to become available at Erwin Square, they’ve been working among free spaces at University Development, the Bryan Center and Perkins Library.

“We’ve been very appreciative of the campus response, from Facilities Management to other departments trying their best to make us welcome across campus,” Greenwood said. “Seeing that reaction is what makes Duke such a great place to work.”

The Forlines House, which was designed by Horace Trumbauer and built in the early 1930s, previously housed Duke President Robert L. Flowers from 1935 to 1951 and was occupied by Undergraduate Admissions until 1976, when the Office of Alumni Affairs moved in.