Parents, students try to block Alameda elementary school closure

ALAMEDA, Calif. (KGO) -- Some Alameda residents are fighting to keep their elementary school open despite safety concerns that it could collapse during an earthquake.

"It's kind of hard to imagine, that it's going to close because we have such a family there and everyone is so close," Lum Elementary 5th grader Amy Screechfield said.

Dozens of kids and their parents showed up at the Alameda City Hall holding signs that said "Save Our School."

The district wants to close Lum elementary after a report saying it's sitting on bad soil.

Parents like Rob Dekker who also happens to be an engineer says he's not fazed by the report since liquefaction is a problem everywhere.

"One of the reasons why I moved to the area was because Lum is such a great school. I would hate to see that place broken up," parent Rob Dekker said. "All of the schools actually in Alameda are built on liquefaction prone soil just like a large part of the Bay Area is, and I don't see that there is any difference in risk between this school or another school where I would go to."

But, the district says it does have unique concerns for the Lum campus. "The district feels that based on the analysis of our geotechnic engineer who was looking at the soils and our structural engineer that we cannot guarantee the safety of Lum students in that facility anymore," Susan Davis with the district's community affairs division said.

Community members say they want more evidence. "The only thing they have from the engineer is a one page thing without any analysis saying the building's unsafe so that's totally incomplete to make such a major decision," parent and civil engineer Calvin Wong said.

The district is hearing the push back. "And so, we are going ahead. We're getting a second opinion for the structural analysis of it," Davis said.

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