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Quake repair, retrofitting work could last through 1990s
STANFORD -- Five years after the Loma Prieta earthquake caused widespread damage to the Stanford campus, the university still faces repair work and retrofitting that could extend through the 10th anniversary of the shaker.
Repair work on Geology Corner in the historic Main Quadrangle will begin this month, and work on Language Corner is scheduled to start in December; each project will last up to 18 months. Also, crews will begin fixing the west wing of Green Library starting next summer.
One reason for the relatively late start is that definitive agreement was not reached until earlier this year with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on how much money Stanford could expect to receive on each project, according to Regina Barnes, acting manager of the seismic program in Facilities Project Management.
With FEMA agreeing to pay a total of about $50 million toward the repair and retrofitting costs associated with the Oct. 17, 1989, earthquake, and the state of California contributing another $5 million, the university is seeking an additional $50 million in donations to complete the work.
Jack Hickethier of the Office of Development said the Stanford Restoration Fund, which was kicked off last April, has generated about $11 million in donations.
Before the fund was established, the university had raised $27 million in donations for earthquake repairs.
The Stanford Restoration Fund is considered a top development priority, Hickethier said, because "an entire generation of Stanford students has begun and completed their Stanford careers without having had access to the [Stanford] Museum, Green Library West and major portions of the Quad."
President Gerhard Casper and the Board of Trustees agreed in establishing the fund in April that, four and a half years after the event, it was "time to put Loma Prieta behind us," Hickethier said.
"Despite considerable progress in some areas, fundraising for earthquake repair and restoration continues to be a challenge," Hickethier said. "It is also an opportunity, however, to remind our alumni of the importance of these buildings."
When the ground shook for 15 seconds in 1989, Stanford emerged with some good news to report - there were no deaths or serious injuries. However, 242 buildings were damaged, and more than 20 were closed.
Major buildings that already have been repaired and reopened include Memorial Church - which was restored entirely with private funds, the Graduate School of Business, Main Quad Buildings 300, 310 and 370, and all the damaged student residences (Cooksey House was the last to reopen, in time for students arriving this fall).
Still to be restored are the two Quad corners, Green Library West, the Stanford Museum, Building 30 and the Building 500 Annex just off Language Corner. In addition, Hanna House, formerly the official residence of the provost, and Tower House remain closed.
"We're still a long way off from complete recovery," Barnes said. "For instance, work on the Stanford Museum will last well into 1997, and on Green Library West, probably into 1998."
Details of the major projects:
Of the total cost, $21 million is for repair, and FEMA will contribute 75 percent, or $15.8 million. FEMA also will help pay for the new auxiliary library facility, relocating staff and books, and miscellaneous costs, so the agency's total contribution will be about $18.5 million.
Green Library West was built in 1919 as the Main Library and connected in 1979 to its replacement, the new Green Library.
The museum was built in stages from 1891 to 1905. The 1906 earthquake caused significant damage to the museum's additions, but not to the main concrete-reinforced building. In 1989, however, the quake caused giant cracks in the rotundas and central building. It has been closed since.
FEMA is contributing about $6 million to the museum restoration project. It will also contribute significantly toward the cost of packing, moving and reinstalling works of art, including storing the art temporarily at Encina Gym.
Construction on both Language Corner and Geology Corner should take about a year and a half to complete, Barnes said. FEMA is paying about $5.7 million of the repair costs on Language Corner; the whole project will cost approximately $12.6 million, including university- financed improvements. Geology Corner will cost about $12 million, with the federal agency putting in $5.25 million toward the repair costs.
The tab for Building 30 will be about $1.6 million, and for the Building 500 Annex, about $1.9 million.
In addition to the repair work, the university also is seismically upgrading buildings that were not damaged in the 1989 earthquake, said Mark Jones, director of Facilities Project Management.
Besides the massive repair and retrofitting program, the university is marking the fifth anniversary of the 1989 earthquake by "pretending" to endure the next major temblor.
Hundreds of staff members who have been designated members of an emergency policy group and an emergency operations group will take part in a simulated earthquake drill Wednesday, Oct. 12, to see how the university's Emergency Operations Plan could be put into action.
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