ISU Headlines

Idaho State University Red Hill ‘I’ deemed safety risk; trail below it closed, committee to discuss options

Posted July 29, 2013

Idaho State University officials have determined the iconic "I" on Red Hill in Pocatello poses a safety risk and a committee comprised of students, faculty, alumni and community members has been formed to make recommendations on the structure’s future.

            "As we review the issues identified in the three studies, our goal is to preserve the history of this university and resolve any safety concerns," said Arthur C. Vailas, ISU President.

            A trail on Red Hill located downhill closest to the "I" has been closed and will remain closed until safety issues have been resolved. The east side of this upper trail on Red Hill is cordoned-off and has signs declaring the closed area on its north and south ends.

            The ISU Facilities Department completed a study of the Red Hill "I" earlier this year that raised safety concerns about it. That study has been reviewed by James Mahar from the ISU School of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the College of Science and Engineering who also concluded that because of erosion and instability as it currently sits, the "I" poses a potential safety risk.

ISU will now engage the services of an independent Idaho registered professional engineer to further assess the safety concerns, review ISU’s internal reports and make recommendations on repairing or replacing the "I."

            "The newly formed committee will review the information provided and advise President Vailas on how to proceed," said Kent Tingey, ISU Vice President for Advancement. "We are acquiring the facts now and we will be making recommendations on this historic and well-loved landmark that is dear to the entire community."

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