first_img“The beam issue was discovered at the end of 2018 but the foundation issue has been going on for a couple of years … I’ve been working on it for about two years,” Bright Horizons program administrator Nancy Martiz said. “That was a project that was ongoing, it was being monitored and we also had a solution in place.” The USC Health Sciences Campus childcare facility Bright Horizons closed March 20 amid building safety concerns. “Last Wednesday, the HSC child care building was determined to be unsafe due to some overstressed roof beams,” the statement released on the USC Employee Gateway said. “As the engineer could not provide the assurance of safety, the children were moved out of the building.” All teachers have also been relocated to Alcazar to ensure they can still teach their respective students and receive full hours and benefits. Children who currently attend Bright Horizons, a childcare facility on the Health Sciences Campus, have been temporarily placed in another facility. (Daily Trojan file photo) “Our plan is, and what we have communicated to the parents at the Health Science Campus is, for those that are incurring any expense because they’ve had to hire alternate care, we will reimburse them up to the cost of what their tuition at the Health Science Playground is,” Bregand said. A report by Capital Construction listing the needed repairs is expected to be released later this week. After the report is finished, repairs, design time, city permits and other construction tasks will be evaluated to ensure the safety of the building. The company has finished the design for the beams and began the process of reinforcement on April 4, Bregand said. As construction begins, both Martiz and Bregand said that making sure the children are cared for is their top priority. “We’ve also made arrangements with Bright Horizons, who is the provider, they have a separate service called ‘Backup Care’ where employees can either find backup care at one of their alternate centers or hire someone to come to their home,” Bregand said.   According to the statement, the building’s foundation underneath the infant care room has been shifting due to soil movement but has been deemed safe for use for the past two years by Capital Construction.   Children attending Bright Horizons have been temporarily placed in another childcare facility named Alcazar. A small number of infants have also been placed in the Duker home. Some families have opted to leave the childcare center for other facilities, said Awilda Bregand, the executive director of benefits. The closure notice was sent to administrators midday on March 20. Parents were notified around 10:30 p.m. The following Monday, USC program administrators, including Martiz, hosted a meeting to inform families about the situation. Detailed notes were sent to family members who were unable to attend. “I am hopeful, that if we are not able to reopen our center for any reason, we are actively working on exploring other spaces on campus,” Martiz said. “Closing a childcare center is not an option for us.” While the parent meeting originally estimated the project would take approximately two to three weeks, the project has expanded to approximately two to three months, according to an update posted on March 27. The administration is also exploring possible solutions in the case that the childcare center is unable to reopen. “The care of our little ones is most important,” Bregand said. “We don’t want anything to disrupt their care ever, but sometimes things happen. This was something that none of us expected … We’ve been really trying to do the best for all the families so they can get the care they need.”last_img

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