Love Library, the main library at San Diego State University, could collapse in the event of a major earthquake and threaten life, according to state records.
Despite that level of risk, people continue to flow through the building every day. University officials say it’s safe to use, but are now studying how to reduce the risk of collapse.
The library is one of nearly 180 public university buildings in California that are in use even though they have been judged dangerous to occupy during a major earthquake — including other libraries, classroom buildings, student apartments, gyms, a hospital, and even a child care center, a California Watch investigation has found.
While some significant earthquake risks have emerged only recently, university officials have known about seismic problems with the majority of their dangerous buildings for five years or more. In some cases, they’ve known for decades.
California Watch reviewed thousands of pages of documents and audits and interviewed seismic safety experts about both of the state’s public university systems.
Among the findings: