Damage to Storrs Center building closes sidewalk, Insomnia Cookies

A piece of siding on a building in Storrs Center forced store closures in the area on Friday Jan. 22, 2016. (Kyle Constable/The Daily Campus)

A dangling piece of siding on a building in Storrs Center left a section of the downtown area’s sidewalk – and a popular cookie store – closed on Friday.

Repairs to the Oaks on the Square building, located at 1 Dog Lane, will not be completed until Monday, according to a spokeswoman. Temporary scaffolding allowing passage on the sidewalk and entry into Insomnia Cookies was installed late Friday night.

This is the second piece of siding to detach from the building in recent months, as officials believe a piece fell last November.

“No one was injured that we know of,” said Susan Jennings, vice president of corporate communication and marketing at EdR, which owns more than 60 housing properties at university campuses around the country. “The loose piece happened (Friday) and we immediately blocked off the area to protect patrons and began searching for a lift and contractor who could come remove the piece and fix both areas.”

Jennings said the company plans to reattach siding pieces with longer screws this time, preventing them from falling or coming loose again.

High winds are likely the reason the pieces came loose, Jennings said, but added that the company was not able to determine a “definitive cause.”

Company officials have been “collaborating with a variety of experts and vendors” since the first piece fell in November in an effort to discover the cause of the problem as well as “the proper solution,” Jennings said.

With its only storefront entrance blocked, Insomnia Cookies was closed for the entirety of Friday. Employees were seen sitting inside the store Friday afternoon with a handwritten sign on the door that said, “We are closed!”

Normally open until 3 a.m., the lights were off and the store was empty at 11 p.m. Friday.

The sidewalk closure also affected Mooyah Burgers and Fries, blocking one of the store’s two entrances. Employees placed a sign on that door telling customers to use the entrance on the east side of the building.

“We apologize for the inconvenience to Insomnia Cookies and their patrons while we must unfortunately block the area due to their safety concerns,” Jennings said. “Our goal is to get this issue solved as soon as possible.”


Kyle Constable is a senior staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at kyle.constable@uconn.edu