Penn State

Penn State’s Schwab Auditorium evacuated because of falling plaster

Schwab Auditorium at Penn State on Monday, July 27, 2015.
Schwab Auditorium at Penn State on Monday, July 27, 2015. CDT photo

A chunk of plaster fell from a ceiling at Schwab Auditorium on Monday, forcing the evacuation of several hundred people.

According to Penn State, the building was evacuated about 11:25 a.m. when “a small section of the balcony overhang fell.”

Officials said the incident occurred during a program for prospective students.

“About 500 people were in the auditorium as part of one of the Spend a Summer Days by Undergraduate Admissions, a program for prospective students and their families. The program, for prospective College of Engineering students, was relocated to the Thomas Building,” the university said in a release.

According to Penn State, one person was transported to Mount Nittany Medical Center for treatment of a minor cut on his head. Another individual was evaluated at the scene before being released by emergency medical technicians.

“A section of plaster ceiling approximately 2 feet by 8 feet fell into a center aisle, with some of the debris falling on several seats. Building engineers and environmental health and safety teams are currently assessing the building,” the university’s release stated.

Schwab Auditorium opened in 1903 and underwent renovations within the past few years.

University spokeswoman Lisa Powers said the building “is closed to the public until a crew from our Office of Physical Plant can get a better look at what happened and determine how to repair it.”