OSU president designates committee to overlook construction of n - KPTV - FOX 12

OSU president designates committee to overlook construction of new facility in tsunami zone

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(Courtesy: Oregon State University) (Courtesy: Oregon State University)

In September Fox 12’s Investigators learned Oregon State University plans to build a new marine science facility on the coast, in the center of a tsunami zone.

It was a decision that went against the advice of local leaders, OSU professors and geologists.

On Monday, University President Ed Ray announced there will be a committee who would overlook and monitor the construction of the Marine Studies Building and student housing.

“This committee will ensure that the design, engineering and construction of these buildings meet or exceed the earthquake and tsunami performance commitments the university has made to the public,” Ray wrote in a release.

Ray adds it is made up of eight university leaders and will two seismic and structural engineers will advise them. The group will also be in charge of ensuring the buildings would sustain a large earthquake and the tsunami that follows it, which includes safety and evacuation procedures, preparation and training.

When Fox 12 first reported the story 23 professors wrote and signed a letter to President Ray to consider building elsewhere.

OSU marine geologist Chris Goldfinger was among the group who wrote that the building in the Tsunami Inundation Zone would "threaten lives, damage buildings, and hobble the research capacity of this flagship institute."

"The decision to build in the tsunami zone is not a scientific call at all. It's a decision made by administrators that have other priorities than safety, frankly," Goldfinger said.

The Hatfield Marine Science Center was built in a tsunami zone before developers knew about the dangers.

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