Archdiocese of San Francisco delivers Catholic schools seismic reports

Archdiocese of San Francisco delivers Catholic schools seismic reports

Retrofitting will cost between $70 million and $80 million; challenge of raising funds will fall on schools and parishes

[(Auto-)Demolition of Catholic schools not by earthquake but by bankruptcy! Do the same seismic standards apply to parishes, the chancery and the archbishop’s residence?]

MARCH 10, 2016 @

The following comes from a March 3 Catholic San Francisco article by Valerie Schmalz:

Archdiocese of San Francisco officials and civil engineers were meeting March 1, 2 and 3 with pastors and principals in San Francisco about recently completed on-site seismic evaluations of Catholic archdiocesan school buildings in the city.

The evaluations found significant construction work will need to be done at a number of schools to meet the standard of “life-safety” which is that the people in the building are able to exit safely in case of a magnitude-7 earthquake, said Jesuit Father John Piderit, archdiocesan vicar for administration.

Another segment of the schools will also need to have their structures retrofitted, but the work will be less costly, said David Finn of David Finn Architects, which managed the seismic evaluations by structural engineers.

Despite the daunting situation faced by some of the schools, Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone hopes to keep all of the schools open, Father Piderit said.

The estimated cost of the retrofit for all the school buildings is in the range of $70-80 million and construction would take place over five to eight years, Father Piderit said. However, engineers caution that as work continues, the cost numbers could be revised up or down.

The challenge of raising funds to pay for the structural corrections to the buildings will fall upon the schools and parishes, with the archdiocese providing technical and other support, Father Piderit said. The archdiocese is open to creative solutions to the retrofitting when major construction is required, he said. For instance, the city might be willing to approve mixed-use development of the school buildings and land, perhaps to provide housing as well as classrooms.

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