Safety of TIS facilities

Some parents have asked about TIS’ emergency preparedness and the seismic stability of our facilities.

The Board of Trustees and administrative staff did a seismic evaluation of our campus in 2008, and have worked closely with the city to make sure our buildings meet their requirements.

To that end, Stearns Hall had seismic improvements during its construction in 2006. Both modular buildings are installed per seismic specs with appropriate seismic anchoring. For the main building, the city recommended and the school instituted some additional seismic upgrades during construction last summer. The Arthur Street building received seismic upgrades during its renovation in the summer of 2008. In addition, the play deck at SW Arthur Street is seismically reinforced.

Along with an assessment of the buildings, we had core samples taken of the hillsides north and south of Sherman Street for seismic and geologic evaluation. Kim Marcus, a professional geologist and TIS trustee lent his expertise in ordering and interpreting the results. The test results showed that the hillsides are stable and the modulars are properly anchored.

The school presently has an earthquake procedure in place modeled after the Marin County, California procedure. This plan meets the requirements of the Oregon Child Care Division and the Oregon Fire Marshall's office. As part of that plan, we practice fire drills every month and earthquake drills twice per year so that everyone knows where to go and what to do. In the event our students and staff need to be evacuated from the campus, we have an agreement with the Boy Scouts of America to bring everyone to their building across Naito Parkway. Dr.Orsini is currently reviewing our safety procedures and adding others.

To say we have done our job would invite complacency. The school’s position on earthquakes and all emergency preparedness is to remain proactive. Throughout the year we reevaluate all life/safety issues as well as buildings on campus, implementing and modifying as needs and new information arise. We maintain communication with the Portland Fire Bureau as well as our local fire station, using them as a resource.

TIS strives to provide the safest environment possible for our students and staff and we do not take the responsibility lightly.

Frank Bojanowski, TIS Facilities Manager, FrankB@intlschool.org, 503-226-2496 x106