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Colleges Tally Up Earthquake Damage

The Ventura County Community College District sustained about $618,000 in damage from last month’s earthquake, with the bulk occurring at Moorpark College’s library and gymnasium, district officials said.

Money to pay for the repairs should come from federal and state disaster funds, district officials say. Until that money arrives, the district may have to dig into its $2-million reserves to pay the contractor bills, officials said.

All the gym classroom space at Moorpark College reopened Monday after being cordoned off since the Jan. 17 quake, said Ray Di Guilio, the college’s vice president for administrative services. The gym floor itself should be ready for use by Saturday, when Moorpark College’s basketball team is scheduled to host Ventura College, Di Guilio said.

The only other Moorpark College building that received substantial damage was the library. Its classroom and lab space have been open since last week, Di Guilio said, but the library itself remains closed.

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Engineers are testing the stability of the stucco ceiling over the study cubicles and copying and typing centers, Di Guilio said. If the ceiling appears in no danger of collapsing, the college will hang plastic sheeting across it, allow students in the library and fix the cosmetic damage later, he said.

If the ceiling is more fragile, college officials will cover it with plywood and move the study center to a trailer, Di Guilio said.

The worst-case scenario--that the college would close the library down entirely and, pending major repair efforts, remove books as well as the study center--is unlikely at this point, he said.

The only other significant building damage at the district is in the gym at Ventura College, where some concrete broke off and fell, officials said.

Though the building is still usable, the damage will cost about $50,000 to repair.


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