Campus picks up, begins life anew in quake aftermath

Chuck Painter An office in the Durand Building after the Loma Prieta earthquake.

An office in the Durand Building after the Loma Prieta earthquake.

Faculty, students and staff returned to work Thursday, Oct. 19 to begin picking up the pieces of a daily routine shattered by Tuesday's 7.0 earthquake, the second largest in U. S. history.

Twenty-six campus buildings were closed indefinitely as of Thursday evening, and access was severely restricted to 34 others because of damaged sustained in the quake. But about half the classrooms on campus were available as students returned to class Thursday, according to Jack Farrell, assistant registrar.

There were no serious injuries on campus, but some 32 students reported to the Cowell Student Health Center in the hours following the quake Tuesday for injuries sustained in the temblor, according to Dr. Harvey Weinstein, director of the center. They suffered mostly from lacerations requiring suturing, strains and some minor head traumas, he said.

Approximately 1,000 students did not stay in their regular residences Tuesday night, and 724 were still displaced on Wednesday night, because their dorms had not been fully inspected or were declared unsafe. Most slept in the lounges of other residences or stayed with friends on campus. About 500 were expected to be in temporary quarters Thursday night, according to student housing officials.

Many employees returned to work Thursday but only to those buildings that inspection teams had determined were safe for reoccupancy. Only critical operational workers reported for work on Wednesday.

It was impossible to estimate just how many employees were on the job Thursday because restricted access to buildings sent many to temporary locations, including their homes, to work.

Asked for an estimate of how much the Oct. 17 earthquake will cost Stanford, Robert Beth, director of risk management said, "We simply have no idea at this point. It will probably take months to come up with an accurate figure."

Damage likely to be many millions of dollars

Kennedy agreed that it was too early to estimate the monetary cost but added that "it certainly is going to add up into the many tens of millions of dollars."

Haresh Shah, chairman of the civil engineering department, who led the inspection teams, estimated the damage to the buildings as "millions and millions of dollars."

At the Serra administration building, practically everybody was present, said Sally Clevenger, manager of employee relations.

Libraries were not open to faculty and students, but staff and volunteers began reshelving books. Phil Leighton of the University Libraries estimated that 500,000 books were on the floor. That number did not include the Hoover Institution where books also spilled.

There are approximately 240 major buildings on the Stanford campus, and all but about a dozen had been inspected by late Wednesday night, according to a list made available to faculty, staff and students. 

The most serious structural damage was sustained by older buildings in the central part of campus. These included Memorial Church and two corner buildings of the Quadrangle, which also sustained damage in the 1906 earthquake.

Memorial Church lost its steeple in 1906, and the church was rebuilt in 1913 without it. This time, large pieces of plaster fell from the dome area and one of the supporting arches near the keystone of the landmark appears to have slipped, according to Robert Gregg, dean of the chapel.

Inspectors said the clean up would take days in many buildings where there was little structural damage. On some buildings, fallen books, broken fixtures and other debris made the damage "look worse than it actually is," said Shah.

Other buildings closed indefinitely include the Graduate School of Business and 11 student residences, mostly small, older houses that were constructed before 1934, when California first adopted building codes with provisions relating to seismic safety.

Some residences closed

Five other student residence buildings were at least temporarily closed for student living because they were classified as "limited access." W. Gary Ernst, dean of the School of Earth Sciences, said it's unlikely that Geology Corner in the Quad will be used again until it has been restored. Faculty and staff members are doubling up in the Mitchell Building and using a conference room there for offices.

Jim Gibbons, dean of the School of Engineering, said the McCullough Building will be reopened Friday. Gas lines inside the building were purged Thursday to make sure no toxic gases were present.

The third floor of the Graduate School of Business continued to be off limits Thursday afternoon while the basement and first two floors still had "limited access." Employees were allowed to go into retrieve belongings but were being asked to work outside. Classes at GSB were among those canceled, but classes at GSB's neighboring Littlefield Building were held.

GSB had some of its windows bowed out, and tiles were down on the third floor. There may be asbestos problems, which was the reason the area was closed off, said Jeffrey Bramlett, asbestos program coordinator with Health and Safety.

Approximately half of the GSB's library books and shelves tumbled to the floor. Late Wednesday night a leak had sprung on the third floor and damaging a number of books, according to Associate Dean James Patell. The books were to be sent for freeze drying.

"We will just have to wait and see what happens with our building," Dean Robert Jaedicke said.

John Rutherford, of a San Francisco structural engineering firm, who was a member of the building inspection teams assembled Wednesday, said he saw "numerous cracks in the building's shear walls, which provide lateral support to the building," but he added that there was "no collapse hazard."

"Overall, the campus came through well, including the older buildings," he said.

The old engineering building in the Quad that is now used for foreign languages also was badly damaged. It suffered structural harm, particularly on the third floor. At the Hoover Institution, both the Tower and the Lou Henry Hoover buildings are closed, while the Herbert Hoover Memorial Building is open. Staff members who have offices in the Tower and the Lou Henry Hoover building are setting up temporary quarters in the Herbert Hoover building, utilizing conference rooms and available offices.

According to Charles Palm, associate director for library and archives at Hoover, both the Tower and the Lou Henry Hoover buildings have been inspected and declared structurally sound. However, there may be a problem with asbestos in both buildings. Palm said that will be checked out as soon as possible.

Nothing in the archives was lost or damaged, Palm said, and the archives' reading room is open. The bulk of Hoover's library collection is in the Tower, with the East Asia collection housed in Herbert Hoover building. Books fell off shelves in both buildings.

Compared to many other campus buildings, the Stanford Medical Center facilities suffered less damage and better tolerated the 7.0 earthquake than might have been expected, according to Prof. Haresh Shah, chairman of the Civil Engineering Department and Stanford's leading earthquake expert.

The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), was undamaged by the quake even though the two-mile long accelerator runs right across the San Andreas fault. SLAC was not running experiments when the quake struck.

Shah was designated the official University inspector and directed 22 campus inspection teams. He reported his findings directly to Kennedy and Provost James N. Rosse.

Cowell Student Health Center suffered some damage, generally cracks all over the building, Weinstein said. The cracks were increasing with time, and there were some problems with the heavy ventilation equipment on the roof.

Other areas of concern, including the laboratory where toxic chemicals were spilled, and the X-ray area, were cleaned up Wednesday. Weinstein said the staff decided on its own to show up for work and the center was open Wednesday with a full staff.

The infirmary on the second floor was closed and will not be open until the building has been inspected and declared safe.

Serious damage in library

Tiered stacks in Green Library West were in good condition, Leighton said. but there was serious damage elsewhere. Green East has books on the floor, as does Meyer and the Mathematics and Computer Science library. Meyer's ceiling also is askew.

Bookshelves fell in many buildings, including Old Union and the Bechtel International Center. A bookshelf fell over on one woman at Bechtel, but she was able to crawl out and was not hurt, said Marcia Makino, a foreign student adviser.

A travelling exhibition of ceramic sculptures by the Belgian sculptor Vermeersch was badly damaged at the Stanford Art Gallery, said Lorenz Eitner, former chairman of the Art Department and curator of the gallery.

None of the paintings in the gallery was damaged but "a considerable portion" of the Vermeersch collection, on loan from the Belgian government, was. Eitner is trying to reach Brussels to tell them of the damage.

None of the extensive Rodin collection was damaged, Eitner said.

Eitner said he thought the museum was damaged enough to cause it to be closed for a while.

Robert Gregg, dean of the chapel, said the interior of Memorial Church suffered considerable damage. Large pieces of plaster fell from the dome area and one of the supporting arches near the keystone appears to have slipped, he said.

"Clearly the church will not be available for public events, services, or concerts for some time, or at least until we have a thorough damage assessment," he said.

Doors to all buildings on campus were posted with signs alerting everyone to the status of buildings, and some were roped off as well.

The status of buildings that are totally closed or restricted in access is likely to change frequently in the days ahead as more detailed evaluations are made, University officials said.

Kennedy praised the University community for its work during the quake.

"I have a sense of great gratitude for this community for reacting as it always does, that is to say, splendidly," Kennedy said on KZSU, the Stanford radio station.

Kennedy and Provost James N. Rosse urged the faculty to be flexible about homework assignments due this week.

"We only have preliminary evaluations on certain buildings," President Donald Kennedy advised students, faculty and staff Wednesday night in a broadcast over KZSU, the student-run campus radio station.

"It's plain that exactly the buildings that you would expect on this campus have suffered some structural damage: Geology Corner, Engineering Corner (renamed Language Corner recently), Encina Hall, Old Chemistry," Kennedy said.

"These are all structures that were known to be seismically vulnerable, and they didn't fall down, but some of them experienced substantial torsion, and they're obviously going to require extensive work." In addition to building damage, Kennedy said that Stanford faculty and staff members "are finding considerable damage involving moveable equipment and the like" as they reenter their offices and laboratories. " It will be a long time before we have a handle on (those costs)," Kennedy said.

Twenty-two teams of engineers quickly spread across the campus to inspect buildings Wednesday morning and continued Thursday.

The teams were mobilized from the University staff, including many facilities project managers, and faculty, staff and graduate student structural engineers.

Su Schaffer, vice president for administration, said the inspections took longer than anyone thought.

Food services was almost completely operational for students Wednesday and was also capable of feeding volunteers and staff members.

Frank Riddle, University comptroller, said his staff moved to the Serra Street Building from Encina Hall, and began using Macintoshes as "smart terminals." The result is that the University will meet its payroll on Friday, including direct deposits,

The Forsythe Data Center suffered no loss of data or damage, according to Tom Prussing, senior computer operator. All three systems turned themselves off automatically when the quake hit, and stayed off until data center personnel brought the systems up again between 9 and 10 p.m. the same night.

Several of the large disk drives were displaced by about a foot by the quake's movements, he said, "but they kept right on whirring" until the system shut down and were not damaged.

No information appears to have been lost, and there are no problems with any of the three systems, according to Wayne Duckworth of the Data Center. He said the data center building was designed to withstand earthquakes, and "came through with flying colors," he said.