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Dougherty takes a big stage

Former superintendent to address national conference

Published on December 1, 2017 10:40AM

Last changed on December 13, 2017 7:27AM

Ground cleared for the new Seaside School District campus. The new campus aims to provide seismic safety and sheltering capabilities.

Courtesy Doug Dougherty

Ground cleared for the new Seaside School District campus. The new campus aims to provide seismic safety and sheltering capabilities.

Doug Dougherty with U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden in 2016.

R.J. Marx

Doug Dougherty with U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden in 2016.

Locations of existing Seaside schools and new K-12 campus, showing elevations and maximum extent of tsunami inundation zone.

Courtesy Doug Dougherty

Locations of existing Seaside schools and new K-12 campus, showing elevations and maximum extent of tsunami inundation zone.


Dougherty co-authors resiliency paper

By R.J. Marx

Seaside Signal

A local leader will address industry and science experts at a major national event. Seaside’s Doug Dougherty will be among the presenters at the Eleventh U.S. National Conference on Earthquake Engineering: Integrating Science, Engineering and Policy, June 25-29, in Los Angeles.

The former Seaside School District superintendent led the effort to raise awareness of the district’s at-risk schools in the event of a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake and tsunami. Dougherty and others developed and promoted a 2016 measure successfully raising $99.7 million for new school’s outside of the tsunami zone.

Dougherty achieved national attention in the Pulitzer Prize-winning New Yorker piece “The Really Big One,” by Kathryn Schulz. He was also extensively profiled in Bonnie Henderson’s “The Next Tsunami,” which chronicles his efforts to build safer schools.

Dougherty, who retired from the district in 2016, is a state commissioner Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission and working on Senate Bill 850 team to develop the Mass Care and Shelter plan for Oregon. Dougherty co-authored “Oregon Schools Face ‘The Really Big One: Advancing School-Centered Community Resilience,” with researchers Yumei Wang and Ted Wolf.

Wang is a civil/geo-hazards engineer at the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries. Wolf is a writer and advocate with interests in sustainability, natural history, and earthquake safety.

The report comes after 25 years of state investments to make schools safer. More than $310 million has been spent toward retrofits of K-12 buildings, completing projects in more than 80 school districts since 2009.

The report presents case studies from three statewide perspectives: Portland’s aging buildings; adopting resilient design in Beaverton; and facing tsunami risk in Seaside.

Oregon has begun to consider a broader goal of “community resilience,” the authors state.

One of the goals of the Seaside school bond, Dougherty said in a 2016 interview, was to use the a new campus facility to act as an emergency shelter.

The new buildings will be built to safely withstand a 9.0 earthquake, he said.





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