February 19, 2018

FAQ’s and More – Why is the Middle School classified as a “dangerous” building?

Since 2012, the Corbett School Board has been studying and evaluating the safety and use of the District’s buildings. More than forty community members participated in a facilities task force where they heard reports from professional structural engineers, architects, educators, and construction cost estimators. The District wants to share the task force recommendation, the professional reports, the results of scientific survey of the community, preferences with regard to addressing our future facility needs with regard to how they impact energy efficiencies, other long term savings, and how buildings classified as “dangerous” by the building code can be made safe.

Why Is the Existing Middle School Classified as a “Dangerous” Building?

• Unreinforced masonry block construction or URM under the building code (FEMA-172 1992 and IBC, Chapter 34, Section 3402.1).
• Structural engineers used 20 codes tests to evaluate the building.
• The building failed 13 tests, three did not apply, and it met the remaining tests.

Structural Engineers Comments:

The roof sits on top of the masonry walls but does not appear to be connected to the walls.
The unreinforced clay tiles that make up the walls are not adequately connected to each other with any reinforcement nor are they connected to the roof above.
The basement walls are most likely constructed of unreinforced concrete and they support the main floor, the masonry walls and the roof, all without adequate support or reinforcement.
The roof, walls and floors do not appear to be connected to each other in a way that could resist movement during an earthquake.
“In the event of an anticipated earthquake, this building does not have adequate strength and load paths to resist forces. The masonry walls may fail and there is a chance that the building will collapse.”
Corbett School Seismic Review, page 9 available at: http://corbett.k12.or.us/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Facilities-Assessment-Part-2-Rommel.pdf
About Vanessa Knight

Vanessa Knight has worked for Corbett School District since 2011. She is currently a teacher on special assignment working as a college coach and as the district's communication coordinator. She lives in Corbett with her three sons.