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Re: FYI: SF Gate, Seismic article

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  • Linda
    When the District says Portola is safe for Students they are going by the Field Act of 1933. Portola and Adams are nonductile concrete buildings. They were
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 26, 2008
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      When the District says Portola is safe for Students they are going by
      the Field Act of 1933. Portola and Adams are nonductile concrete
      buildings. They were listed in the top 5 schools to be fixed first
      with Bond funds.

      West Contra Costa Unified School District - December 6, 1999

      #42 Adams Middle School - built 1957,
      Type - Steel / Concrete
      Hayward Fault - High Risk Area
      Ground Shaking - High Levels predicted

      #45 Portola Middle School - built 1948,
      Type - Steel / Concrete
      Hayward Fault - High Risk Area
      Ground Shaking - High Levels predicted
      (Portola is also on a landslide area, where there will be additional
      ground shaking )

      District wrote a letter:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wccusdtalk/message/9535

      DASSE Design: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/wccusdtalk/message/9561


      Take care,
      Linda


      -- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "Linda" <lozito@...> wrote:
      >
      > "...An example is nonductile concrete buildings constructed prior to
      > major code revisions in the mid-1970s. Although they complied with
      > codes when they were built, many do not have enough steel in their
      > columns and beams to allow them to bend and twist in earthquakes.
      > Instead, their supports can crumble and even explode under too much
      > pressure. Building code changes demanded more steel reinforcement in
      > and around beams and columns, and stronger walls. Therefore, buildings
      > with concrete beams are considered safer if they were constructed
      > after 1978...."
      >
      >
      >
      > S.F. to check 12 schools' seismic safety
      > Robert Selna, Chronicle Staff Writer
      > Sunday, August 24, 2008
      >
      > San Francisco school district officials have pledged to evaluate a
      > dozen schools for seismic safety and to make improvements if they are
      > found to be necessary.
      >
      > The action was triggered by The Chronicle's recent discovery of a
      > 5-year-old list that state officials produced after surveying the
      > stability of all California public schools. The state Department of
      > General Services named 12 San Francisco schools that needed inspection
      > based on their architectural plans and construction dates.
      >
      > While state records show that the San Francisco Unified School
      > District obtained the list in 2005, the schools were never evaluated
      > for their earthquake safety. School officials said last week they had
      > not been aware of the list's existence.
      >
      > And although San Francisco school officials say they do not believe
      > the schools pose any danger to students, the district has never
      > completed a comprehensive seismic study of its more than 120 schools -
      > many of which were built decades ago before building codes were
      > changed to reflect modern seismic standards.
      >
      > Several other local school districts, meanwhile, have conducted
      > thorough assessments and some have passed bonds that set aside money
      > specifically for the improvements.
      >
      > "Now that I have this list, which I didn't have in my hands a little
      > while ago, I'm going to take some action on it," said David Goldin,
      > chief facilities officer for the San Francisco Unified School
      > District. "Now I will go back and have an engineer look at the
      > buildings and ask is there a concern with it."
      > Follows city move
      >
      > The decision to inspect the schools follows a July announcement by the
      > city Department of Building Inspection that it will study San
      > Francisco's stock of privately owned structures to determine which
      > building types are at the greatest risk of collapse and damage in a
      > major earthquake centered close to the city.
      >
      > In tandem with that announcement, Mayor Gavin Newsom introduced
      > legislation to waive fees and expedite retrofit permits for owners who
      > voluntarily repair "soft-story" buildings.
      >
      > The wood-frame structures have weak ground floor walls and are
      > ubiquitous in San Francisco. While their potential danger has been
      > known for decades, city leaders and engineers largely ignored them
      > until recently.
      >
      > Another focus for the city will be concrete structures constructed
      > before building code changes in the mid-1970s. Some of those
      > structures don't have enough steel in their columns and beams to
      > withstand major temblors.
      >
      > According to Goldin, all of San Francisco's public schools comply with
      > the Field Act, a 1933 law requiring that school buildings adhere to
      > the codes in existence at the time they were constructed. But that
      > does not mean that all schools meet today's seismic safety standards....
      > ...
      > The Field Act
      >
      > What is it? On March 10, 1933, scores of brick school buildings
      > collapsed in the Long Beach earthquake. One month later, California
      > Assemblyman Charles Field spearheaded legislation that still requires
      > all new schools to adhere to building codes in effect at the time of
      > construction.
      >
      > State authority: The Field Act and subsequent revisions also authorize
      > the Division of the State Architect to review and approve all public
      > school plans, taking that authority away from local jurisdictions.
      >
      > Code strengthened: The act is not a fail-safe, however, according to
      > structural engineers who focus on earthquakes. Codes are continually
      > revised to make structures safer. As a result, buildings that complied
      > with codes when they were built sometimes are deemed vulnerable later.
      > An example is nonductile concrete buildings constructed prior to major
      > code revisions in the mid-1970s. Although they complied with codes
      > when they were built, many do not have enough steel in their columns
      > and beams to allow them to bend and twist in earthquakes. Instead,
      > their supports can crumble and even explode under too much pressure.
      > Building code changes demanded more steel reinforcement in and around
      > beams and columns, and stronger walls. Therefore, buildings with
      > concrete beams are considered safer if they were constructed after 1978.
      >
      > To read the complete article visit:
      >
      http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/08/24/MNKM12G5I3.DTL&h
      >
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