Tuesday, April 24

Young asks regents to foot bill for quake damaged buildings


By Greg Cooper

Daily Bruin Staff

SAN FRANCISCO — As if deep budget cuts have not already caused
UCLA’s campus enough economic pain, at least $650 million will be
needed to fix all damages from the Jan. 17 Northridge quake,
Chancellor Charles Young told the UC Regents last week.

UCLA and the Federal Emergency Management Association realized
the damage was more extensive than authorities originally
estimated, Young said.

Although the damaged buildings pose no immediate danger, another
earthquake could cause more serious damage that might put many
rooms – including ones in the Medical Center – out of use
indefinitely.

In the event of another quake, buildings might not be able "to
meet the medical emergency," Young said.

The high costs were announced after FEMA investigated most of
the approximately 100 buildings on and off campus that suffered
cosmetic but no structural damage. FEMA officials predicted they
will need between $10 and $12 million to fix aesthetic damages such
as Kerckhoff Hall’s cracked spires.

The money will also be used to repair some of UCLA’s oldest and
most important buildings, including historic Royce Hall and Powell
Library, which suffered the most visible and expensive damage.

Royce Hall, often called UCLA’s most famous landmark, carries a
$38 million price tag for repairs. It has been closed to classes
and productions since the quake. Powell, now undergoing extensive
seismic reconstruction, suffered substantial damage to an ornate
ceiling.

Four other buildings, including the Men’s Gym, the Dance
Building, Kinsey Hall and the Mira Hershey graduate dorm, sustained
minor, but expensive, damages.

"We believe that the six (buildings) will have suffered
sufficient damage (that) could add up to $100 to $120 million,"
Young told the regents. "If indeed that’s the case, the state and
the federal government will try to fund 90 percent of it."

The brunt of the $650 million repair estimate, however, is going
to the nationally renowned Center for Health Sciences, which
includes the Medical Center. The sprawling three million square
foot complex will cost at least $500 million to $800 million to
repair.

Seven of its 11 buildings suffered quake damage, though all of
them lie too close to each other and need to undergo construction
to meet earthquake codes, authorities said. Officials are also
considering retrofitting the entire complex because, in the long
run, that may be most effective.

"Retrofitting (CHS) could entail rebuilding a large component of
the building," said Peter Blackman, vice-chancellor of Capital
Programs, the agency responsible for construction on campus.
"Possibly, new buildings will be more cost effective than
retrofitting old buildings and bringing them up to code."

FEMA and UCLA officials must inspect 7,400 rooms in the Medical
Center, including some operating rooms, although no medical
buildings closed following the earthquake. A study, to be completed
this fall, will inform UCLA and FEMA officials of the full extent
of damage and how to fix it.

"The act to determine where we head financially will occur when
FEMA officials issue a damage report predicated on the
architectural survey," Blackman said.

When construction does begin on the Center for Health Sciences,
campus officials said they will make sure that the facilities will
remain in working order.

"It would be fully occupiable and functioning throughout the
process," Blackman said, adding that the construction period should
last about five years.

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