HomeBase Montana President Andy Halloran said on Tuesday morning that despite the collapsing joists visible from the interior of the Missoula Mercantile Pharmacy building, the structure will be saved and become a part of the Residence Inns by Marriot, as originally planned.

Halloran said his company's obligation was to save the pharmacy facade, and that plan has not changed.

"It's a separate building," Halloran began. "As our team was working on an adjacent portion towards the east, a column on the east side collapsed which took with it three or four floor and ceiling joists on the east side. Thankfully, that was the extent of the damage, but the other three walls and the other floor and ceiling system are as we found them, so they're intact, and thankfully, no one was hurt."

Halloran said the plan all along was to remove the east wall, which, he said, was largely gone anyway, despite the photos that seemed to show the building ready to collapse.

"The floor systems that you see in those images really only buckled three or four feet into the building itself, so the rest of it is intact in the current condition," he said. "There was thankfully very little damage to the building itself and certainly no other damage to the north or west walls. "

Halloran said the cleanup at the site continues, and the concern over the pharmacy has not delayed the project itself.

"We'll be removing those three or four joists on the east side of the building and external shoring on the north wall and west wall were installed yesterday, which was always part of our schedule as an additional precaution," said Halloran."We're already beginning the back fill process with structural material and we're on schedule to have a pad-ready site in the next 30 days and our goal is by the end of June to start construction on the new Mercantile."

City authorities closed streets adjacent to the site on Monday in fear that the pharmacy building structure was in danger of collapsing.