October 1, 2018
State Representative Bill Brough
Division of the State Architect
Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees
Dana Hills High School Principal
City of Dana Point
October 1, 2018
Re: REQUEST FOR IMMEDIATE ACTION: Dana Hills High School Structural Defects
It has been brought to the Publics attention that there are structural issues at Dana Hills High School that could pose a significant threat to the health and safety of staff and students.
Statements made by DSA Licensed Architect/Kitchell employee Jonathan McKim; working on Kitchell's facility assessments, indicated that he was concerned about the structural integrity of "cracked and crumbling" concrete beams at Dana Hills High School. These beams support the roof over the gymnasium, cafeteria and auditorium (all high volume occupancy spaces). Statements by Mr. McKim indicated that the concrete crumbled in his hand which made him concerned about the actual mix of the concrete that was used to form the beams which support the roof.
Recent documents received from the District validate Mr.McKims concerns:
1) The District hired Josh Randall with KNA Structural Engineers to perform a "Limited Structural Assessment". These inspections included only the low roof adjacent to the gymnasium. The inspection did not cover the upper roofs where according to Mr. McKim, "the damage is more extensive and occurs at the connection point between column and concrete T-beams shown in the pictures provided".
2) Findings in KNA Structural Engineers report concluded the following:
"Upon walking the low roof adjacent to the gymnasium, we noted prevalent spalling of the concrete at the ends of the roof tee beams. We noted two different mixes of concrete; a sand aggregate mortar and a 3/8" lightweight aggregate mix. We also noted the presence of corrosion on the reinforcing and tendons. Also visible was a formed surface where the joint between the lightweight concrete for the tee beam had a pocket to allow stressing of the steel tendons. The sand aggregate mortar made up the cast in place end cap as noted in detail 12 of sheet St-4 of the original drawing."
3) If the concrete mix for Dana Hills High School was the cause of the failure of the lower roof end caps- then the entire beam is probably failing in the same manner.
4) In a September 29, 2018 e-mail Mr. McKim state the following:
"Anyway, something else that has been on my mind since last night. You should ask if beach sand was found in the concrete mix test samples at Dana Hills, which may be determined by higher than acceptable levels of sodium chloride and the grain shape. I've suspected this ever since I stood on DHHS's roof and ground to dust small chunks of concrete with my fingers, and after seeing that it was the sand in the mix that they claimed is causing the failure, then I would be willing to bet money on beach sand as being used in the mix design. Now days engineers recommend that no more than 0.2% of beach sand be used in concrete mix designs, and some engineers recommend no beach sand be used. If this is the case, that more than 0.2% beach sand was used which resulted in high levels of sodium chloride, then my fear would be that the entire beam may be in question, not just the ends as claimed by the District's engineers."
To ensure the health and safety of staff and students, Dana Hills High School needs a full structural inspection by an objective third party.
Trustees are elected by the People to represent taxpayers and students in all matters before this board. Trustees have a fiduciary duty to protect the health and safety of students. District staff does not have that same duty. As such, it is the Board of Trustees that must step forward and ensure that the structural issues at Dana Hills High School Have been properly addressed.
Likewise it is the Department of the State Architects responsibility to ensure that K-12 school building are structurally safe.
Please conduct and independent structural assessment of Dana Hills High School.
Taxpayer and Student Advocate
Letter to Trustees: Dana Hills High School Structural Defects
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