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Second Appeal Summary
PA ID# 037-90007; University of Southern California, Clinical Science Center
DSR ID# 20071; Damaged Ceiling Replacement
Citation: Appeal Analysis; Second Appeal;University of Southern California (USC); Damaged Ceiling Replacement; FEMA-1008-DR-CA, PA 037-90007
Cross-Reference: DSR 20071; Northridge Earthquake; Ceiling Damage; Documented Justification
Facts: As a result of the Northridge Earthquake on January 17, 1994, the Clinical Science Center at the USC experienced minor ceiling damage. FEMA inspected the facility and prepared DSR 12114 on June 29, 1994, for $25,822 for miscellaneous repairs to ceiling tiles, light diffusers, shelving and wall cracks, and plaster repair for 1,000 square feet (SF) of ceiling damage. The DSR was based on the recommendations of an engineering report provided by a subgrantee's consultant. The State OES forwarded a subgrantee's request on May 17, 1995, for a supplement to DSR 12114, to include removal and replacement of the existing ceiling base and all light fixtures. The request was based on a second engineering report from another subgrantee's consultant. FEMA/OES jointly re-inspected the building on July 14, 1995, and prepared DSR 20071 for $152,955 to provide for 16,000 SF of ceiling plaster removal, replacement and painting, repair of ceiling frames and light fixtures, architectural services, and a 3% inspection fee. Upon review, FEMA reduced DSR 20071 to $0 because plaster removal, replacement and painting should be applied to the 1,000 SF identified under DSR 12114, replacement of light fixtures was not disaster-related, and architectural and inspection services were unnecessary for the type of work under DSR 20071. OES transmitted the subgrantee's first appeal on June 18, 1996. The applicant contended, based on the two engineering reports, that the plaster ceiling has detached and fallen and requested funding to remove and replace 12,600 SF of plaster ceiling. The Disaster Recovery Manager denied the appeal on March 6, 1997, because a joint FEMA/OES team re-inspected the facility on August 6, 1996, and reported no additional ceiling damage beyond the 1,000 SF of plaster ceiling already identified under DSR 12114. On July 18, 1997, OES transmitted the subgrantee's second appeal. The subgrantee continues to argue that the ceiling requires replacement rather than repair and claims that there is a critical need to address this life safety issue. The appeal includes a letter from a consultant stating that loose wood lath, not properly attached to the ceiling joists, were observed at many locations and present a life safety hazard.
Issue: Does the consultant's letter include documented justification of loose wood lath?
Findings: No. The consultant's letter only indicates that loose wood lath were observed and therefore present a life safety hazard. No documentation supporting the existence of additional earthquake damage to the ceiling beyond the original 1,000 SF of plaster damage identified under DSR 12114 was submitted.
Rationale: Pursuant to 44 CFR 206.206, the appeal shall contain documented justification supporting the subgrantee's position.