$8 million Austin state building falling apart

September 26, 2011 3:50:24 AM PDT
A two-decade-old $8 million state office building in Austin could cost as much as $20 million to fix.

The Austin American-Statesman reports Monday the walls of the Robert D. Moreton Building in central Austin are crumbling, cracking and separating and concrete panels that cover the building's exterior risk failure. The seven-story office tower was constructed 22 years ago.

A Texas Facilities Commission official says engineers are describing the situation as a serious problem apparently rooted in crumbling concrete panels weighing more than 50,000 pounds that form the shell of the structure.

More than 500 employees of the Texas Department of State Health Services work in the place and officials say repairs could take two years, meaning they'll have to find temporary quarters.