Rock steady: Schools receive seismic upgrades

May, 2018 Posted in Community, News, School

By Mary Owen

Thanks to two state grants, the Stayton High School fabrications/wood shop building and Sublimity Middle School will undergo seismic upgrading this summer.

“The work will begin in mid-June at both sites, as soon as school is out,” said Andy Garner, superintendent of the North Santiam School District. “The work at Stayton High School is expected to be completed within the summer months. The work at Sublimity middle school is more extensive and will continue into the fall. Because of this, school will start next fall with portable classrooms in front of the school on the blacktop. The work is planned for completion by Thanksgiving.”

NSSD recently received two Seismic Rehabilitation Grants from the state of Oregon: $1.5 for Sublimity and $943,000 for Stayton High.

“These grants allow for districts to seismically improve structures in case of earthquakes,” Gardner said. “The work will include the improved connections of the ceiling and roof structures to the existing walls. The Sublimity middle school building, which dates from the 1940s, will have new interior walls that will strengthen the existing brick walls as well as increased connections between the roof and the walls.”

Other schools, Gardner said, received some seismic work with funds received from the construction bond passed by voters in 2012.

“The two projects were actually planned to be accomplished with funds from the bond,” Gardner said. “At the time, when we faced construction cost increases, we chose to cut these, with the plan that we could eventually accomplish them through the state’s Seismic Fund. Now, after five years, we are able to cross these projects off the original list!

“There are still various structures that could be further strengthened, such as the SHS main gym,” he added.

Meanwhile, the district continues to monitor the area’s new developments, keeping an eye on any impact they have on school populations, Gardner said.

“Should we begin to see increases, we will be pulling together a facility committee,” he added. “As far as seismic, if the state continues to offer the program, the district will continue to submit proposals to make our schools safer.”

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