A contractor from Advantage USAA, Inc., in Spring Branch, Texas, died after falling through the roof of a school district administrative building last week, just as repairs and a complete reroof were underway at a one-time shopping mall in the city of Suguin, about 26 miles northeast of San Antonio. 

Now used by the Seguin Independent School District for its administrative offices, the site was once known as the Oak Park Mall with anchor stores including J.C. Penny and Handy Andy, a now-defunct home improvement chain bigger than a local hardware store but not quite a big box retailers like Home Depot or Lowe’s.

Seguin ISD purchased the facility in 1993; it subleases a portion of the building to Arlen’s grocery store. The incident was reported mid-day last Wednesday at the district offices on E. Kingsbury Street, according to Seguin Battalion Chief Tom Teboe. The Seguin Gazette first reported on the accident.

Seguin ISD - Chart.jpg“We were called for a fall, and it was reported CPR in progress,” Seguin Fire Department Battalion Chief Tom Teboe told the newspaper. “One patient was transported to the local hospital with no change in status. My understanding is there was no change from the time of what he presented to when we took him to the hospital.”

According to Seguin Assistant Fire Chief Garrick Herbert, the contractor was pronounced dead at the hospital. The man’s identity was not released, and so far, there has been no statement by Advantage USAA Inc., a commercial roofing concern with branches in Spring Branch and Midland.

The roof replacement began last week, days ahead of the accident, according to Sean Hoffman, a school district spokesman, who added that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration would be among the departments investigating what happened.

“The protocol in instances such as this is that the hospital will notify OSHA,” he said. “OSHA will conduct an investigation within 48 hours of the accident, and during that time, the project will be on hold until the OSHA investigation is completed.”

Hoffmann said that the hole in the roof through where the contractor fell will be covered temporarily and likely won’t be repaired until OSHA officials conclude their investigation. “I’m sure that’s part of the investigation as well, looking at the accident site,” Hoffmann said.

The district closed on its purchase of the mall back in September 1993, according to city council minutes. The 20.9-acre site, purchased from DAG Management of Houston, sold for $280,000.