Some Indiana University buildings in Bloomington are coming down next week, and their demolition has become part of a training exercise. The structures will serve as a stage for "United Front II," a full-scale search and rescue exercise. Indiana University will assist training and response activities of the Indiana National Guard and other local, state and federal partners participating in United Front II, a multivenue search and rescue operation exercise in Bloomington, June 10 to 13.
IU invited the National Guard to the Bloomington campus for the exercise, providing access to two demolished buildings along with various other services and facilities, including support from IU Emergency Management and Continuity. An off-campus building to be demolished will also be part of the exercise scenario, which is based upon an EF5 tornado like the one that hit Moore, Okla., this month, or the 2011 twister that hit Joplin, Mo. Both tornadoes carried winds over 200 mph.
Before the buildings are demolished, mannequins will be placed inside. Once the buildings are collapsed and the exercise begins, search and rescue teams will enter the wreckage to locate and extract the "victims," moving debris and rubble or cutting through materials blocking their passage.
The three buildings to be used for the exercise, along with dates for demolition and contractors handling the work, are:
- The old Phi Kappa Psi house, 1200 N. Jordan Ave., beginning June 5; Jeffrey J. Morone, Kort Builders Inc., Indianapolis.
- The old U.S. Post Office, now owned by First United Methodist Church in Bloomington, at Fourth and Washington streets, beginning June 5; Jeff Ellington, Phoenix Demolition, Bloomington.
- The former IU Wrubel Computing Center at 10th Street and the 45/46 Bypass, beginning June 7; Randy Denney, Denney Excavating, Indianapolis.
Photo Credit: Indiana National Guard troops with 81st Troop Command's emergency response unit search and rescue team search for casualties during a training exercise at Camp Atterbury, Ind. Photo by Staff Sgt. Jeff Lowry.