At 4:30 am on January 17, 1994, a magnitude 6.7 seismic event traveled through Southern California, focused in the Northridge portion of the San Fernando Valley, with significant impact in Santa Monica and other scattered locations. Damage and structural weakening to the Center for the Health Sciences (CHS) in Westwood caused only a brief disruption of the Level 1 Trauma Center hospital operations immediately following the seismic event. However, post event engineering studies revealed that the CHS complex required structural improvements that were necessitated by current building codes and standards.
Academic Health Center Facilities Reconstruction Plan
Following this major seismic event, the campus developed a multi‐phase Academic Health Center Facilities Reconstruction Plan to accomplish a series of projects that would seismically upgrade and/or replace portions of the CHS.
Completion of the Health Sciences Seismic Replacement Research Buildings, 1 (Neuroscience) in 2004 and 2 (Biomedical Science) in 2007, and the occupancy of the Ronald Reagan‐UCLA Medical Center, Mattel Children’s Hospital, and the Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital in 2008 marked the completion of the first phase of the plan, with all inpatient care and some academic and research programs having relocated to these new seismically safe replacement buildings.
The second phase of the plan is now addressing the seismic safety for the remaining CHS programs including the academic, research and administrative functions of the school of medicine and other health sciences related schools, institutes and programs occupying seismically deficient space in the CHS.
CHS South Tower Seismic Renovation Project
The seismic renovation of the CHS South Tower ‐ a structurally independent building within the CHS ‐ comprises the first component of the Phase 2 Plan. This project, now under way, renovates 443,387 gross square feet (gsf) of seismically “Poor” space within the UCLA Center for the Health Sciences (CHS).
The South Tower is the largest single building in the 2.4 million gsf CHS ‐ a complex of buildings constructed in phases beginning in 1951. Upon completion of this project, other CHS seismically deficient space will be vacated to enable subsequent renovation, demolition and/or reconstruction in a sequence of separate projects to provide contemporary instruction and research space for the remaining health sciences programs in the complex.
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