Lum School Update and District Advisory Committee, May 3, 6:30pm


Come meet the Lum District Advisory Committee (Lum DAC) on Wednesday,  May 3 at 6:30 PM in the Lum Multipurpose Room.  Learn how you can participate in addressing the welfare of the Lum community regarding liquefaction and possible school relocation.  Everyone in the community is welcome!

Why are we forming the Lum DAC?  On April 26, the AUSD District issued a press release explaining possible unsafe Lum building conditions in the event of a major earthquake and need to develop options that ensure the safety of the Lum community.

Safety is #1 for our children. We all agree on this.

While alarming, the AUSD structural engineering reports:

  • Did not indicate any immediate or imminent danger; and
  • The buildings at Lum can be used for school or any other activities INDEFINITELY.

If we in the Lum community felt any REAL immediate danger existed, everyone would be working to relocate to safer locations immediately.

Why is the district considering temporary or permanent relocation and why is the DAC needed if there is no real immediate danger?  The recommendation to repair buildings or relocate students and staff is based on:

  • A geotechnical assessment for assessing new proposed construction, not the viability of current structures;
  • Earthquakes that could happen once in every 2500 years and once in every 100 years on average; that are
  • Earthquakes larger in scale than the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake; where
  • The combination of soil and building foundation could result in a building sinking to the point where students and staff could not open a door to exit.

And so, while the risk is not immediate nor imminent, it is a risk we must consider and deal with as a community.   And we appreciate the District and Board taking it seriously.

The Lum DAC is being formed to work with the District and Board in addressing the safety and social welfare of the Lum community as our part of taking it seriously with them.

What has happened so far?  In response to the potential safety concern, an emergency AUSD Board Meeting was held on April 28.

The District presented their findings to the Board to inform a May 9th vote on closing Lum next year. It included a one-page letter from structural engineering firm ZFA indicating the District relocate students and staff as soon as feasible. ZFA’s recommendation and study was based on a soil analysis report generated by the firm Miller Pacific. Unfortunately, Miller Pacific was not present, and ZFA indicated they were unqualified to answer many questions outside their area of expertise.

Lum pride was on full display as staff, parents, and neighbors voiced strong arguments for keeping the Lum community together! Thank you Lum!

The Board’s recommendation was to delay the May 9th decision until May 23rd so that more information could be gathered, community questions answered, and options explored.

Many in the community also offered their expertise and support to help the Lum community, District, and Board make an informed, intelligent decision.

Parents and members of the community decided it would be good to form a District Advisory Committee modeled after California Department of Education best practices guidelines as a means of organizing that expertise.

What is happening next and what we need from you?  The Lum DAC leadership is currently forming work groups to explore all angles and provide the District and Board recommendations. Work groups include:

  • Exploring what the Lum community needs, regardless of the May 23 decision, to ensure the Social and Emotional welfare of its community
  • Confirming the data collected and analysis done was appropriate and an accurate representation of a real world scenario for the Lum site
  • Discovery of alternatives that could mitigate the risk such as changing soil, building structure, or foundation elements at Lum
  • And managing the process of learning, discovery, and development of recommendations to present back to the District and Board for the Lum DAC.

If you are interested in participating and have the time to commit to help come to the best decision possible for our community, you can reach out to Amal Saleh, , or come to our Wednesday, May 3, 6:30 PM meeting at the Lum Multipurpose room to learn more.

The Lum DAC will provide ongoing updates of progress to the Board and community. And provide the community a means to give input, ask questions, and provide expertise on an ongoing basis even if you can’t fully participate in the Lum DAC.