February 11, 2016
Contact: Heather Marron
Phone: (907) 742-4153
Following the 7.1 magnitude earthquake on Jan. 24, 2016, ASD officials performed site visits to each school to ensure facilities were safe prior to school resuming the next day. Additionally, ASD officials requested a post-earthquake structural assessment of the West High School/Romig Middle School library (a shared space) and Romig’s main gym by an outside structural engineering firm. The firm observed two locations where damage was sustained: the ceiling grid in the library and the roof structure in the main gym.
The report indicated Romig’s main gym roof, specifically the roof diaphragm, is unsafe according to existing building codes. Engineers assessed that the library ceiling poses a possible risk of ceiling tiles falling during a future earthquake. The building’s flexible lateral system creates problems for the rigid ceiling system during a seismic event. Seismic upgrades to the West/Romig library are planned to start in the summer of 2016 pending voter approval of ASD’s 2016 school bond proposal, which will be on the municipal ballot this April. A districtwide seismic study is also one of the projects on the 2016 school bond proposal. Learn more about the proposed 2016 bond projects and costs at www.asdk12.org/bonds.
District administrators have called for the spaces indicated in the report to be closed pending further analysis and remediation. Sporting events, PE classes and community rentals will take place in alternate venues or will be rescheduled until further notice.
“Our number one priority is to ensure the safety of our students and staff using those facilities, as well as the safety of community groups who rent the space, which is why we requested outside analysis,” said Superintendent Ed Graff.
Over the coming weeks, district officials will work to determine the course of action, costs and timeline to address both the West/Romig library and the Romig main gym.