BELLEFONTE — Work to remove the cupola from the roof of a fire-ravaged downtown building could begin as soon as this week.
Centre County Commissioners Chairman Steve Dershem indicated the job is the top priority for safety at the Hotel Do De building in Bellefonte.
That would alleviate some of the safety issues and structural integrity, Dershem said at a commissioners meeting Tuesday.
I think the concern is some wind would catch it and push it back, he said. It would create a much bigger structural issue, and probably a public safety issue.
The owner of the building, John Dann Sr., said last week that it will be torn down after an engineer surveyed the structure that was badly damaged by fire Sept. 9.
Bellefonte officials sent Dann a letter Friday saying the building is structurally unsafe and asked him to remove the cupola as soon as possible because its a public safety hazard.
For taking down the building, Dann has 30 days to get a borough demolition permit and provide the borough drawings that show the plan for demolition.
County Administrator Tim Boyde said he has asked Bellefonte officials to keep the county in the loop about a time frame for demolition.
While Dershem believes the cupola could be removed as soon as this week, he said the site likely would not be cleared by Oct. 9.
Thats when former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky is set to be sentenced on charges that he sexually molested 10 young boys.
Boyde said the site could cause some disruption if the sentencing draws a large contingent of national media, as was the case for Sanduskys two-week trial in June.
Based on the current situation, it looks like parking will be limited, Boyde said. And we will only be able to accommodate first-come, first-served for the satellite trucks.
County officials are also planning for when the Do De building eventually is demolished, Boyde said.
We may have to look at relocating some of the proceedings that happen in the Courthouse Annex, he said.
Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter