Spring break shake and campus repair

A SHAKED UP SCENE - A construction worker repairs the roof damages on campus caused by the moderately severe earthquake.

Photo courtesy of DBHS

A SHAKED UP SCENE – A construction worker repairs the roof damages on campus caused by the moderately severe earthquake.

Yusheng Xia, Assistant Editorial Editor

image003Diamond Bar High School has been shaken into some major upgrades after a magnitude 5.1 earthquake struck campus on March 28. The school was closed to all students and staff two days later and reopened after spring break. During that week, construction workers busily made repairs.

“There were many contractors on site of the week of spring break. [We had] plumbers, painters, roofers, engineers, ceiling repair, and to top it off we had scheduled to have the upper and lower parking lots repaired. We had activity going on everywhere,” DBHS Operations Manager Doug Mefford said.

In the aftermath of the earthquake, the total damage costs were estimated to be around $400,000. Major changes at school included a new artificial grass turf in the amphitheater, a repaved parking lot in front of the school gym, and a replaced ceiling for the school library.

Ceiling damages had occurred in building 500 and the school library as the tiles fell from the top after the earthquake. Replacing the fallen tiles would have been nearly impossible, as the tiles have not been made for over 15 years. As a result, the entire library ceiling was taken down and the old tiles were used to repair roof damages in other buildings.

“The LINC sustained drop ceiling damage, [and] it was determined that it would be more cost effective to replace the LINC ceiling with a modern ceiling tile. We would collect the old ceiling tiles and use them to repair [building 500],” Mefford said.

In addition to the ceiling damages, there was a water leak in one of the pipes near the school’s art rooms that caused impairments in other buildings: floors were separated from the concrete foundation and walls were soaked. In order to replace the damaged structures, the flooded rooms were emptied out and relocated during the repair process.   Although many adjustments were needed across campus, the school’s new math buildings and pool, fortunately, only experienced minor damages.

“Picture, plaque, and moving books were the only damage to the math buildings. Our new pool also rode the quake well with no damage,” Mefford said.

Student safety also became a major area of concern following the tremor. Many classroom objects had fallen off the ceilings and walls during the earthquake, highlighting the danger of a similar shake if occurred during active school hours. In response, the school took many precautions that involve stabilizing classroom items and plans on hosting additional drills to make sure students know the correct way to respond to earthquakes.

“[The school has] ensured that all book shelves are attached to the walls, and hanging items are properly mounted to the walls,” Mefford said.