2017 Lum Elementary Seismic Issue
In the spring of 2017, soil samples were taken at Lum Elementary School in preparation for constructing a new classroom building on the site. (Under state law, school districts have to test the soil at school sites before embarking on new construction.)
When the geotechnical engineers analyzed the soil, they discovered the threat of liquefaction was more significant than had been previously understood.
Structural engineers then informed AUSD that Lum Elementary School could not be guaranteed to be safe for long-term use because its building foundations were inadequate for this level of liquification. The risk, they noted, was that the the buildings could sink as much as 5 inches in a 100-year earthquake and the resulting damage could prevent exit from the classrooms.
In the course of this investigation, two geotechnical studies and two structural engineering studies were completed. All of the scientists and engineers came to the same conclusions: the Lum soils were highly liquifiable, the Lum building foundations were inadequate for that liquifaction, the buildings could collapse in the event of an earthquake, and students and staff should be re-located.
"Our conclusion," ZFA Structural Engineers wrote in May, 2017, "is that the existing classroom, multi-use, and administration buildings at Donald Lum Elementary School have a high potential for partial or global collapse during a design-level seismic event due to foundation failures as a result of expected large differential settlements, and that retrofitting the existing structures is not practical. This is not a conclusion that we come to lightly."
This page provides links to the geotechnical and structural reports, a study on the feasibility of repairing or replacing the Lum buildings, the Board of Education presentations, and frequently asked questions about the Lum findings.
- Why is the district saying Lum Elementary may not be safe?
- What is liquefaction?
- What proof do you have of the liquefaction risk at Lum?
- Children are supposed to take cover under desks and tables during an earthquake, not in a doorway. So won't they be safe at Lum in the event of an earthquake?
- Could children exit via windows?
- Isn’t all of Alameda at risk for liquefaction?
- Why weren't students moved out immediately?
- I just enrolled my child in TK/kindergarten at Lum. Where will she go?
- Are other elementary school sites safe?
- Can Lum be repaired?
- Can the district place portables on the Lum campus for the time being?
- What about Wood Middle School?
- Why didn’t the district form a "District Advisory Committee?"
- What happened at the April 28 Board of Education meeting?
- What happened at the May 9 Board of Education meeting?
- What happened next?
- What happened at the May 23 Board of Education meeting?
- When did Lum families find out about their children's new school assignments?
- Message to Lum families on school assignments
- Do the boundary changes affect people who are already enrolled in an AUSD elementary school?
- Where can I see the temporary boundaries?
- My older child was assigned to an elementary school based on the old boundaries. My younger child will be assigned to a different school under the new temporary boundaries. What can I do?
- Maya Lin is a magnet school. But now it has a boundary. Will it still offer open enrollment?