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The roof of the Iron Gate Theater partially collapsed last week. Credit: Derek Wong

Penn student performing arts groups are set to resume using the Iron Gate Theatre this weekend as the University attributes the theatre's closure to a cracked beam. 

According to a statement from Penn's Executive Director of Real Estate Ed Datz, the landlord of Iron Gate Theatre noticed a cracked wood arch beam while conducting roof maintenance and repairs. The theatre remained closed until a structural engineer could assess the crack on Monday. 

Upon inspection, the engineer determined that the crack was limited to one beam and did not impact the structural integrity of the building, according to Datz. 

"Repair of this wood beam is being prioritized to restore the facility to operations and is anticipated to be performed this week, prior to reopening the theater to stakeholders," the April 2 Facilities and Real Estate Services statement read. 

Megan Higgins, a College senior and A Cappella Council chair, told The Daily Pennsylvanian earlier in the week that repairs were expected to conclude on Thursday, enabling student performing groups to resume using the building in preparation of their shows. The DP was unable to confirm whether the repairs were concluded by publication time.

“The structural engineers figured out that the building itself was stable and that they could put in a temporary fix so that the building is completely safe," Higgins said. “They would do a larger fix during the summer."

Higgins is also a member of Penn Counterparts, one of the groups scheduled to perform this Friday and Saturday at Iron Gate Theatre. 

“Everything should be able to operate as normal," she said. “We’re really excited to be performing at the Iron Gate Theatre — it feels like home to us.”

In addition to Counterparts, Onda Latina is scheduled to perform at Iron Gate Theatre on Saturday.

Attila Tuba, an Engineering first year and the incoming Performing Arts Council technical chair, confirmed that student groups have been informed that a temporary fix has been implemented, and that groups are set to resume their performances this weekend as planned. 

“We are uncertain of what the tech situation looks like [as we] haven’t been back since last Friday. We don’t know what the lighting situation is, if the lighting grid have been disabled or damaged, or what state the sound booth is in," Tuba said. "But I am confident that the student techs that are going to be handling that are very competent and they can solve any issues that are to arise." 

Ella Nevo, an Engineering sophomore andPAC's Dance Arts Council chair, said that she is glad that repairs were able to happen so quickly. 

“There aren’t really any extra performing venues, especially for dance groups, on campus, so when such an important one was down, there wasn’t really other options," she said. "Everyone I’ve heard from [says] they want to go back to Iron Gate, they don’t want to use a different option."