Oakridge High School Emergency Response Upgrades

  • Project Type: Emergency Planning and Preparedness
  • Date Submitted: April 2019
  • Project Location: Lane County (Oakridge)
  • Estimated Cost: $15,000

Project Description

The Oakridge School District wants to make building upgrades to Oakridge High School during the summer 2019 to ensure that the building can serve as an emergency response center. Building upgrades will include upgrading the generator, lighting systems and heating. The total cost of the project is anticipated to be $75,000. The request for this funding is $15,000. Increase the generator capacity and upgrade lighting to a more energy efficient system that will multiply the effective use of the generator power. We will gain 70% efficiency in the light upgrade which will make use of the generator power more efficient and increase potential for heating and cooking needs.

The City of Oakridge recently experienced a significant winter storm that took out electricity for multiple days within the community. The City of Oakridge and Oakridge School District would like to increase the resiliency of the community to handle these types of events in the future. The City and district are also planning on how to make public buildings safe refuges for community members during emergency events, including air refuge from woodsmoke. Oakridge’s airshed experiences significant woodsmoke due to winter home heating and wildfire smoke. When counting both woodsmoke and wildfire contributions, Oakridge’s airshed is among the 20 worst air quality communities for fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in the entire United States, on the list with places like Port of Los Angeles and San Joaquin Valley in California.

Expected Environmental Benefit

  • The need for emergency planning in rural Oakridge is urgent. Additional funding is current being requested and directed toward transforming the high school into a safe air refuge but it requires ensuring that the facility can first operate as an emergency response center. This project funding will be allocated to ensure the environmental health and safety of local residents during peak emergency events that pose a risk to the community. Additionally, significant air quality events, particularly those of kids will be mitigated by future building upgrades.