By Cam Lucadou-Wells
Storms have literally raised the roof at Casey Council’s $125 million Bunjil Place building.
Four months after the landmark building’s opening, about 10 panels from the roof’s southern edge were peeled off by strong winds on 14 February.
Since then, the roof section on the corner of Princes Highway and Magid Drive has been left with a gaping hole.
Casey Council has denied there were “significant structural or safety issues” despite a three-metre-long steel door handle falling near a toddler at Bunjil’s main reception door on 28 February.
Henry Sonogan was visiting with a friend and a 20-month-old girl when the door handle crashed to the floor “of its own accord”.
“It gave us all one hell of a shock,” Mr Sonogon said.
“The young girl cried out.”
Mr Sonogan feared a young child would suffer serious injury if struck by the falling handle.
“It is a bit worrying to visit Bunjil Place – what with dislodging and unsecured roof cladding, and door handle bars that could dislodge at any time.”
Mark Dibsdale, the Bunjil close-out projects manager, said the door handle came loose due to the fixing bolt working loose.
It was repaired straight away and all similar handles were checked for tightness, he said.
The roof was expected to be fixed by the end of next week.
“Upon becoming aware of the problem, the remaining panels were immediately checked and additional fixings were installed to ensure that no additional panels could come loose,” Mr Dibsdale said.
“Engineers have reviewed the roof and recommended new fixings that would be able to withstand a greater degree of wind force.”
The proposal was being reviewed by a third-party engineer, Mr Dibsdale said.
He said a “wide range of items” had been rectified during a 12-month defects-liability period as part of Bunjil’s construction contract.
“Construction contract defects and omissions rectification have no cost impact to Council.”