Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 9, 2017

It’s dangerous to go alone

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:09 am

In addition to putting out information on how the District proposed to shuffle around students in the case of a Lum Elementary closure, there is also space for the School Board to question the need for an immediate closure and take steps to keep Lum open.  The quickly assembled Lum District Advisory Committee (DAC) has brought together their own set of experts but are asking for more time, probably all of next school year, to do their own research and studies to verify the information being provided by the District.

These are the conclusions that have been reached by the DAC from the staff report:

  1. The buildings at Lum are Field Act and DSA complaint, meet all seismic standards established under the California Building Code, and there is not sufficient evidence of immediate risk to students or staff;
  2. The structural engineer hired by the AUSD performed no actual structural testing, no analysis, and no life safety assessment under SPC2 standards;
  3. There has been no verification of any of the conclusions reached by the structural engineer hired by the AUSD;
  4. There is not sufficient evidence of any emergency or imminent risk that would warrant closure of Lum and relocation of students as of June 8, 2017;
  5. There must be a District Advisory Committee (DAC) appointed by the Board to gather all necessary information, data, testing, analysis, assess the impact of any decision upon the entire Alameda community, and to make a recommendation to the Board based on the results of that information gathering process;
  6. The DAC must gather further information, data, and analysis, including an assessment of the buildings at Lum in light of California Building Codes, standard Structural Performance Category (SPC) ratings, and other relative risk assessment standards, coordinating and consulting with applicable government agencies, local experts, members of the community, and other relevant sources;
  7. In addition to Lum, there needs to be an assessment of the buildings at all AUSD sites to assess life safety risks posed at those sites in the event of a major seismic event using standard SPC ratings that allow for objective comparison between school sites;
  8. There is a severe lack of information and evidence, which the Board MUST have in order to make a reasonably informed decision about whether to close an entire school.

An “SPC rating” is a seismic performance category” I had to look that up.  I’m struggling a bit with the extreme pushback.  I totally get the whole community thing, “heart of Alameda”, blah blah blah but it feels odd to have such an extreme skepticism of what the District has presented by its experts that parents and community members are essentially saying, “yeah you haven’t proved to us that it’s dangerous enough.”

It’s really going to be interesting to see how the School Board handles it.

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