A new report on the safety of the U Building questions the initial evaluations that the school had done in previous years, which became the basis of determining to abandon the building.
According to someone who has seen the report because he is on the panel of the Faculty Association, which has ordered it from a consultant, it is authoritative.
â€œThe person who made this [new] report,â€ said Theater Arts Instructor William R. (Rod) Foster, â€œis one of the worlds leading authorities on earthquake structures and statistical testing.â€
Vice President of Administrative Services Richard van Pelt had said in November 2010 that the first reports, compiled by Dosse Design and later Amarre Studios, that the U Building was the least structurally sound building on campus.
â€œThe prudent thing to do,â€ said van Pelt in 2010. â€œIs not accept any level of risk.â€
The person who made the new report had something very different to say, though. He said that if that data from the initial report was correct, then there had already been three earthquakes big enough to demolish the U Building, said Foster.
â€œWe [the Faculty Association] are not fighting the replacement of the U Building,â€ said Foster â€œWhat we are afraid of, is that the college is about to be driven off of a financial cliff because there isnâ€™t money to even tear down the U Building, let alone replace it.â€
The replacement project has been estimated to cost a total of $70 million.
The first reports had said that steel joints, which unite the columns and beams of the building, were slightly smaller than what is standard under current building codes, according to van Pelt.
The building was supposed to be emptied in January of 2011, but there are still classes being held in the U Building to this day.
Foster said that he had seen and forwarded the initial reports compiled on the U Building to the people leading the new evaluation and that they would have those reports within days.