Murphy Center bleachers inspected after incident

Murphy Center bleachers inspected after incident

One of 18 expandable bleacher sections in the southeast corner of MTSU’s Murphy Center toppled April 2 as an event crew tried to extend the seats for use this weekend.

The bleachers, which usually unfold like an accordion, failed to fully deploy when crews attempted to pull them out, said Ron Malone, MTSU’s assistant vice president for events and transportation.

The tension caused the structure to crack, then later fall to the floor, he said.

No one was injured, and the center was not in use when the breakdown occurred.

The retractable sets have been in use since Murphy Center opened in 1972. They usually remain retracted, except in preparation for large events, to allow the center to be used for classes and track sports.

A preliminary evaluation by engineers on April 3 found no problems with the 17 other bleacher sections.

Crews were extending the bleachers in preparation for the upcoming weekend’s Easter events by Murfreesboro’s World Outreach Church, which has rented the facility. Twelve sets have been extended to accommodate the church’s events.