At the request of some members of the Lum Community, the District has set aside time for presentation by a group of Lum parents/guardians. That group has submitted the following for Board and community consideration.
On April 26, 2017 the Alameda Unified School District publicly stated that there are possible unsafe building conditions at Lum Elementary in the event of a major earthquake, and is recommending that the AUSD Board vote to close the school and relocate students as of June 8, 2017. The Board is scheduled to vote on this recommendation on May 23, 2017.
Following the April 26th announcement, parents at Lum started our own District Advisory Committee (Lum DAC), in order to ensure safety and welfare of the Lum community, to work in cooperation with Board of Education and the AUSD, and to ensure the best possible solution for the entire AUSD and larger Alameda community.
In the two weeks since we first learned that the AUSD was recommending closure and relocation of all 500+ Lum students to other AUSD schools, the Lum DAC has gathered together experts to help us assess the information upon which the AUSD is basing its recommendation. Based on those expert opinions, which will be presented in more detail to the Board on May 9th, the Lum DAC has conclude that:
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;
The structural engineer hired by the AUSD performed no actual structural testing, no analysis, and no life safety assessment under SPC2 standards;
There has been no verification of any of the conclusions reached by the structural engineer hired by the AUSD;
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;
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;
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;
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;
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.
Based on these conclusions, the Lum DAC is requesting and recommending that the Board add an item to the May 23, 2017 agenda that would allow for a vote to LEAVE LUM OPEN for the 2017-2018 school year, while further information, analysis and planning is conducted. The AUSD has not yet presented any such “3rd option” to the Board.
RECOMMENDATION BY LUM ADVISORY COMMITTEE:
The Board should add an item to the May 23, 2017 agenda that would allow for a vote to leave Lum open for the 2017-2018 school year, appoint a District Advisory Committee, and gather the necessary data an analysis to decide what if any steps should be taken to address the implications of the soil test results at Lum.
Presenters: Kelly Scott, Lum District Advisory Committee, President Lum PTA;
Joe Keiser, Esq., Lum District Advisory Committee;
Calvin Wong, former Director of Building Services, City Engineer, and Chief Building Official for City of Oakland;
Tai Tang, a licensed architect with 17 years of experience;
Rob Dekker, Lum parent.
Submitted By: Joe Keiser, Esq., Lum District Advisory Committee