The Lumberjack

Seismic retrofitting relocates entire theatre arts building

Photo by Skye Kimya

Seismic retrofit has turned the Theatre Arts building and the basement of the library into construction zones.

Roughly 20 years ago there was a campus wide assessment of seismic risk on all of the 23 California State University campuses and each university was provided with priority groups of which buildings held the largest seismic risk by the CSU Seismic Review Board.

“Theatre Arts and the Library are the last Priority 1 buildings to receive seismic retrofit on this campus,” said HSU’s Associate Director of Planning, Design, and Construction, Michael Fisher.

Fisher is responsible for all construction and master planning around campus and he has been working on the engineering and design of this project for two years now. Seismic safety is the essential goal and purpose of this project; and the construction will consist of strengthening the concrete and steel within these buildings.

“These buildings today are not unsafe by any means,” said Fisher. “The seismic retrofit just ensures that pedestrian egress is accessible.”

Based off of a Humboldt State Now press release published over the summer, this project will also modify and upgrade nearby doorways, restrooms, elevators, drinking fountains, and improve accessibility of parking.

The Theatre Arts building and the south side of the first floor in the library have been vacated for this academic year.

“I want to make sure that students know the rest of the first floor, as well as the second and third floor of the library will remain open and operational,” said Fisher.

The vacated classrooms, offices, and resource centers have been relocated to either the Student Business Services building, Jenkins Hall, or the Campus Events Field.

Over the summer, project manager Jason Baugh worked to ensure that the transformation of the Campus Events Field be completed just in time for Fall classes beginning August 20.

“Holding to timelines was important for this project,” said Baugh. “[The Campus Events Field] is now a new functioning portion of campus.”

There are now 14 classrooms/office spaces on the Campus Events Field as well as fully functioning restrooms. However, this space is temporary and is planned to be taken down after the completed seismic construction on the Theatre Arts and library building.

According to the Humboldt State Now press release, the seismic retrofit is scheduled to begin this fall and is hoped to be completed by Summer 2019. The project is completely funded by the CSU system and will cost a total of $34 million.

“I plan to occupy the reconstructed buildings in summer 2019,” said Fisher. “In preparation for Fall 2019.”

Students still have full accessibility to resources such as the Learning Center and the Student Disability Resource Center that are now located at the Campus Events Field.

Please refer to the updated campus map for construction zones and revised disability access pathways.