The L.A. Unified School District is looking at 667 school buildings that might not do well in the event of a major earthquake.
The district, responding to a California Public Records Act request from LA Weekly, sent us its list of structures defined by the state as “concrete tilt-up construction and those with non-wood frame walls that do not meet the minimum requirements of the 1976 Uniform Building Code (UBC).”
The inventory overlaps with a list of possibly earthquake-prone buildings in the city of Los Angeles compiled by UC Berkeley:
Under state law, 1999's AB 300,
schools musc keep the California Department of General Services had to conduct an inventory of such pre-1976 nonductile concrete buildings, and the like.
The LAUSD has 13,527 structures, so the list represents only about 5 percent of its buildings. LAUSD director of maintenance and operations Roger Finstad told us this today:
I would not be overly concerned with the list. Our school buildings are the safest buildings within the whole city. The state requires they are constructed that way. If a major earthquake should hit, schools are some of the safest places to be.
Finstad spoke today to the district's Budget Facilities and Audit Committee regarding the condition of L.A.s public schools.
His presentation stated that the district's biggest issues with facilities are actually roofing, heating and air conditioning.
As to earthquake concerns, the list of 667 schools represents nearly $1 billion ($970,189,962) in work that needs to be done, according to the district.
The LAUSD is doing that work as part of ongoing upgrades and renovations, Finstad said: “We're working on it. Our schools are extremely safe. We're bringing them up to code everyday.”
The inventory includes 19 structures that have already been retrofitted, five that have been demolished, and 21 that are being upgraded as we speak.The list includes buildings on the campuses of some of L.A.'s most iconic high schools, including Birmingham, Kennedy, Reseda, Polytechnic, Crenshaw, Hamilton, Hollywood, Los Angeles, Palisades, University, Venice and more.
LA Weekly requested the inventory after the city released a UC Berkeley rough list of 1,451 “pre-1976 building code … nonductile concrete buildings” that could possibly buckle in the event of the Big One.
Finstad said there was some overlap with the district's inventory, but that “the Berkeley list had a lot of buildings not on this list. They've either been upgraded or they're not the susceptible concrete construction type that was the focus of the effort.”