Safety issues hit Roseland University Prep

  • Teachers Emily White, left, Kelly Cramer, Fred Vedder and Sabrina Ostling eat their lunch in what used to be the principal's office at Roseland University Prep, in Santa Rosa on Friday, April 11, 2014. The building where the teacher's lounge was found to have building code violations. (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)

Safety concerns have forced the closure of several classrooms at Roseland University Prep high school in Santa Rosa after a fire marshal inspection uncovered a slew of violations in structures that have been used by the school for years.

The violations include: no fire alarms, no phone connections to the main office, door lock issues, noncompliant exits, lack of fire suppressant sprinklers and other issues. In addition, the school district failed to calculate the allowable number of students per space.

The city also cites a failure to create a "clearly discernible" separation between the educational occupancies on both sites and other tenants, which include a vending machine business and an engraving company.

"It did lack all of the protective features that schoolchildren in California are to be provided," said acting Santa Rosa Fire Marshal Mark Pedroia.

In his April 2 report, senior fire inspector Scott Moon recommended "these spaces be vacated without delay."

"Unfortunately, conditions at these sites are so far from compliance with basic California codes regulating school construction, modernization, occupancy and operation; we do not see a solution," the memo reads.

"We are charged with implementing the State requirements for school/student safety and, in our evaluation, are unable to find a route to legitimize these uses, even temporarily, without further jeopardizing the safety of students and teachers," it reads.

The buildings remain closed off to students with signs affixed to doors directing students to the main building on campus.

Roseland School District Superintendent Gail Andrade Ahlas would not directly address how the district came to house scores of kids and teachers for years in rooms that were not up to building, fire or education code safety standards.

"My whole goal and my focus right now is really on looking forward and figuring out how to minimize disruption on campus for the kids," she said. "That is where I am focusing my attention, my energy."

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