University Announcement: Response to the Buildings Department’s Final Investigation Report on the Sports Hall Incident 就屋宇署運動中心事件最終調查報告之回應
Response to the Buildings Department’s Final Investigation Report on the Sports Hall Incident
Dear colleagues, students and alumni, Council and Convocation members,
The Buildings Department (BD) released on 31 May 2017 its Final Investigation Report (Report) on CityU’s Sports Hall Incident, which occurred on 20 May 2016. The Report concluded that the incident was caused by overloading and the collapse of the roof was triggered by the additional weight of water due to localised ponding on the greenery cover.
According to the press release issued by BD, the investigation results had been provided to the Department of Justice (DoJ) for consideration. After thorough examination and consideration of the relevant information, evidence and circumstances of the case, the DoJ has decided that prosecution should not be instigated. Nevertheless, BD will be seeking further legal advice from the DoJ as to whether disciplinary action should be taken against the relevant persons registered under the Buildings Ordinance.
Campus safety is a top priority at CityU. We have taken every measure to ensure that all works on campus are undertaken by qualified professionals in accordance with relevant laws and regulations. In such a spirit, we will study the Report carefully and take into account all relevant advice from our professional teams to further enhance campus safety.
I would like to take this opportunity to express our deep gratitude to the nine-member Investigation Committee and the Task Force led by Professor Paul Lam, Chief-of-Staff, as well as all the external experts whose assistance we solicited, for their strong support and professional advice over the past 12 months, to Mr Sunny Lee, Vice-President (Administration), and the Campus Development and Facilities Management offices, for helping the University maintain regular operations after the Sports Hall Incident; to the Cross-departmental Contingency Planning Working Group chaired by Professor Horace Ip, Vice-President (Student Affairs), for securing temporary sports facilities for students and staff; and to the many units and offices on campus for their excellent follow-up services.
A proposal for the re-development of the sports hall complex into a new multi-purpose building of 10 to 12 storeys has been drawn up and shared with students, Senate and the President’s Cabinet for feedback and input. The proposal was approved by Council at its meeting in April 2017 and the new building is expected to be completed in four years’ time.
Lastly, I would like to register a deep note of appreciation to staff, students, alumni, and Council and Convocation members as well as to friends of the University for their unfailing support and valuable advice in helping CityU to move forward and improve.
President and University Distinguished Professor