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To continue using the building would be "irresponsible": Bad Godesberg town hall closed due to danger of collapse

To continue using the building would be "irresponsible" : Bad Godesberg town hall closed due to danger of collapse

The city council closes the Godesberg Stadthalle. As of Wednesday, there is a temporary ban on entry, according to an internal newsletter for council members.

Suddenly there is a fence around the listed Bad Godesberg town hall and it is forbidden to enter: The first indications that the city was about to close the hall and its conference rooms because of imminent danger came on Tuesday evening. According to the GA, the economic committee learned about this at a non-public meeting.

The association Bürger.Bad.Godesberg, which uses the premises of the Trinkpavillion belonging to the building ensemble, received an e-mail from the city almost parallel to the meeting at 8.45 pm. "Since then, the shock has been deep", said association chairman Joachim Schäfer upon request. This was because he had phoned the Office for Economic Development in the morning, which had expressed confidence that a contract with an interim tenant for the Stadthalle would soon be concluded. One week before, an employee of the municipal building management (SGB) had described the condition of the Trinkpavillion as good.

SGB boss Lutz Leide justified the fact that no more operation is permitted in the annexe and the Karajan wing, which the Bridge Club has leased, with the fact that "the entire Stadthalle is technically a unit". He had met on Monday and Tuesday with the expert who examined the building substance. After an inspection, Leide had decided to close the building.

The roof of the Great Hall is in danger of collapsing. The inspection showed that the pre-stressing steel had been drilled into, grouting mortar had not been expertly applied in the 1950s and rust had added to the pre-stressing steel. Leiden said that "a sudden collapse of the supporting structure" could not be ruled out.

Whether events in the buildings would have to be cancelled, Leide could not say. He said that the tenants were responsible for organising them. The city is not afraid of claims for damages. He could not yet comment on possible alternatives. The suggestion by the Bad Godesberg district mayor Christoph Jansen to erect an event tent on Rigal'sche Wiese is to be examined.

Leide stressed: "First of all, there is the obligation to maintain monuments." With a view to the upcoming restoration, which was planned for summer 2022 and which, according to the latest estimate, would cost 25 million Euro, he said that even if load-bearing parts had to be replaced, this did not necessarily mean that the monument as such was no longer worth preserving.

District Mayor Jansen spoke of "really bad news". Continued operation would be "irresponsible", and a quick restoration plan was all the more urgent. His deputy, Nicole Unterseh (Green Party), remarked: "However, it is almost unbelievable that the damage, which has apparently been present for a long time, was not noticed during an investigation of the structural capacity in 2008.“ Gabriel Kunze (SPD) criticised that the administration had "put off" the renovation "for a long time". He also questioned "whether really the whole building is affected".

Johannes Schott (Bürger Bund Bonn) sees "an urgent need for clarification. The fact that the administration is communicating such a decision by means of a council newsletter is "like a play in a madhouse", especially since there have apparently been indications of a danger of collapse since the safety nets on the ceiling were installed in February. Hans Friedrich Rosendahl (Alliance for Bonn) recalls his parliamentary group's proposal to "demolish the old Godesberg town hall and build the new swimming pool at this central location". He thus raises the question of whether it would not make more sense to rebuild the facility. The FDP sees clear failures on the part of the Bonn administration: "Once again we are learning with almost unparalleled drama how important preventive maintenance is," explained their district councillor Wolfgang Heedt.

For Felix Kopinski (Pirate Party), too, the Godesberg Stadthalle, along with the Beethovenhalle, the opera house and the swimming pools, "is proof of what happens if you don't keep real estate in good condition all the time". The renovation backlog is getting bigger and bigger. Jürgen Repschläger (left) said: "For more than ten years, the renovation of the Bad Godesberg Stadthalle was put off with the argument of the concept for the hall, which had been promised time and again but is still missing.“

(Original text: Silke Elbern and Philipp Königs / Translation: Mareike Graepel)