Two-Month Drilling Study to Begin on BHHS Campus

In an effort to stop Metro from approving a subway route that goes under the high school, BHUSD has hired a firm to determine if faults under the campus are active.

Drilling will begin this week at  as part of a seismic study ordered by the school district to help it fight the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s proposal to  under the campus.

Geotechnical engineering firm Leighton Consultants has been hired by the Beverly Hills Unified School District to review the  regarding the safety of routing a subway under BHHS.

“Initially, this work will require crews and drill rigs to drill a series of soil borings across campus,” Board of Education President Brian Goldberg said Wednesday in an email message to BHUSD families. “The crews [will] take measurements and extract soil samples that will allow us to map the soil structure that underlies the campus.”

Metro has proposed digging under the school and the district headquarters for the Westside Subway Extension to reach a stop at Constellation Boulevard in Century City. The transportation authority has said that the project could be done safely.

The next phase of Leighton’s investigation begins in January. Goldberg warned that it will be noisy and disruptive as investigators begin the excavation of a trench that stretches the entire width of the campus.

“The Metro reports indicated several probable faults under Building B and in the prime area for future school construction,” he said. “This trench is necessary to positively confirm or deny the existence of these faults.” 

If any faults are identified, the trench will allow the dating of those faults to help determine if they are active.

“Trenching evaluation is painstaking work that will require open excavations for most of January,” Goldberg said, adding that there will be a “considerable level of activity through the end of February.”

The district plans to work on the project during off hours and school holidays to complete its study as quickly as possible, Goldberg said. 

“We ask for the patience and understanding of everyone on campus,” he said. “Please respect any fencing and barriers and stay out of work zones.” 

The new board president also vowed to keep the evaluation process transparent.

“While we do not yet know the outcome of our investigation, we are confident that it will be performed correctly and that its conclusions will withstand scrutiny from all quarters,” he said.

Goldberg asked that the MTA be equally open with its geotechnical data, noting that it “should have nothing to hide from peer review and independent scrutiny.”

Metro’s seismic report on the BHHS campus, as well as other studies, can be found by clicking thislink. For more information on the BHUSD perspective of the project, click here.  

John Mirisch December 16, 2011 at 06:20 PM
The poll attached to the story is oddly oblivious to the gist of the story. The story is not about the location of the potential subway station, but about seismic safety issues resulting from Metro's studies. And the Century City community itself seems to be oddly oblivious to the consequences of some of the logical conclusions from Metro's study. Metro's experts are suggesting that Santa Monica boulevard from the Beverly Hills border through Century City and beyond should potentially be classified as an Alquist-Priolo zone under state law. This would severely restrict construction within the zone and the truth is that many if not most of the CC high rises along Santa Monica boulevard would not have been permitted to be built in the first place had the fault been identified and the A-P zone instituted at the time. Does the fact that the fault has only recently been "discovered" and "mapped" make the buildings any more safe? I would think the life and safety of workers and visitors to these skyscrapers on the fault would be a much larger concern and the Century City community should take concerted action to safeguard the well-being of all those who enter these buildings and perhaps demand warning signs, as I suggest in the following article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-mirisch/faulty-towers-dont-mentio_b_1102430.html
Carol Spencer December 16, 2011 at 06:23 PM
I am totally astounded to learn that BHHS campus will have a trench dug the entire width of the campus - as I recall BHUSD would not allow MTA to perform tests early on - and that they were fearful of damage to the astro turf etc. Wouldn't it have been a win-win for all if BHUSD had cooperated with Metro for the testing and allowed them to do extensive tests such as currently being done? Granted a second opinion is always good, but and this is a question in my mind - Has BHUSD repaired the foundation on the BHHS from earlier problems? I was saddened to learn that BHHS was built on top of the Beverly Hills Lineament in the 1920's- unstable ground. A time when earthquake knowledge was lacking. Would it be wise to consider for the sake of the BH students to work with Metro - and rebuild a state of the arts safe high school for future generations?


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