To comply with current earthquake code so all our children, faculty, and staff, can safely exit in the event of a magnitude-7 earthquake, the building requires seismic retrofitting.
After months of evaluation and study, the cost of the seismic retrofit for our school was determined to be approximately $4.1 million. With Archbishop Salvatore Cordileoneís consent, our Pastor, Fr. Daniel Nascimento, and our Principal, Mr. Tom White, decided to proceed with the earthquake retrofit this Summer.
Although we are not required by law to seismically retrofit our building, we all want to ensure that in the event of a major earthquake, ourchildren will be able to get out safely. To do that, the floors and ceilings will have to be anchored to the walls. The hollow clay tiles along the stairways will have to be replaced to keep our exits clear, and the hallway will also have to be tied together to strengthen the structure and integrity of the building.
Along with these seismic improvements, we will also take the opportunity to do other upgrades. We will install an accessible elevator from the school yard to the 1st floor, we'll remove asbestos present in our building, renovate the bathrooms and also improve lighting in each classroom.
The school is fortunate that past school families and parishioners have left us with a sizable endowment to help us with the costs. And because the school and parish also have healthy savings accounts, some of this money will be used. In all, we have about 80% of the needed money on hand. We are planning to raise the the remaining 20% thorugh loans and generous donors.
The school has been emptied to prepare for the work to be done. We are excited that the process has begun; workers have marked areas for demolition and are taking the first steps. The portables will arrive in August, and will be home to students and teachers for the first few months of the school year.
- Christina Cathcart
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