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* Weather washes down electrical vault


A well-used sump pump from the 1300 Building electrical vault.

A flooded electrical vault, coming on the heels of several days of unusually heavy rain, temporarily knocked out power to four buildings at Shoreline Community College.


The problem was discovered mid-morning on Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, when steam was seen coming from the vault under the 1300 Building. College facilities personnel think the steam may have resulted when water inundated heaters that are integral to the transformer and designed to keep electrical connections dry.


To assess the situation, facilities staff needed to turn off electrical transformer breakers and pump out the vault, resulting in the temporary outage. Those breakers control power to the 1000, 1100, 1200 and 1300 buildings. Once the vault was pumped out by about 12:30 p.m., it was determined that power could be restored to all but the 1300 building.


Director of Facilities Bob Roehl said that a sump pump either could not keep up with the flow or wasn’t pumping normally, resulting in about 18-inches of water in the vault. Roehl said the pump will be inspected and cleaned, repaired or replaced.


The 1100 and 1300 buildings are primarily classrooms and the power outage resulted in some class meetings being cancelled. In such cases, instructors have contingency plans already in place so that student learning continues, even if students and the instructor don’t meet as scheduled in a classroom. Since 2009, in anticipation of the swine-flu outbreak, every class at Shoreline Community College has an online component so learning may go on despite on-campus disruptions such as snow, power outages and other events.


The outage also impacted some employees. Early it was not clear what the cause was or how long repairs might take and in some cases, employees in affected buildings were sent home. Power is expected to be restored to the 1300 building over the coming weekend with normal operations by Monday, Nov. 26.


SCC/Jim Hills

*Tayloe Washburn appointed as Shoreline trustee
NEU photo
Tayloe Washburn, former managing partner at Foster Pepper and now Dean and CEO at Northeastern University's Seattle Campus, is a new trustee at Shoreline Community College.

Tayloe Washburn has been appointed by Gov. Chris Gregoire to the Board of Trustees for Shoreline Community College.

“Education is foundational to the success of our citizens, communities and economy,” Washburn said. “I look forward to helping Shoreline Community College continue its work in building that foundation.” 


A Lake Forest Park resident, Washburn is the founding Dean and CEO for the Seattle Graduate Campus of Northeastern University. A prominent lawyer and civic leader, Washburn is experienced in building partnerships between the public and private sectors. A former managing partner with Seattle-based Foster Pepper law firm, Washburn’s law practices focused on land use, environmental issues, infrastructure and sustainable development/green building.

"We're excited to have Mr. Washburn share his experience, expertise and commitment with the students of Shoreline Community College," President Lee Lambert said.

Washburn has long advocated for expanded educational opportunities to prepare the region’s workforce for the needs of the 21st Century economy. Washburn earned a law degree from the University of Washington as well as a master’s degree in education and a bachelor’s degree in history, both from Stanford University.

Washburn is a former chair of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. He has also chaired the boards of Seattle King County Economic Development Council and Schools First! He served on the boards of Forterra (formerly Cascade Land Conservancy) and the 5th Avenue Theatre. Gov. Gregoire previously appointed him to the Washington Aerospace Partnership.

In 2010, he received Leadership Tomorrow’s 2010 Eddie Carlson Outstanding Alumnus Award, given by the Carlson Leadership and Public Service Center at the University of Washington. In 2012, Washburn was named Enterprise Seattle’s Economic Development Champion of the Year.

Washburn's five-year term began Nov. 16, 2012. His appointment will go to the Legislature for confirmation during the coming session. Washburn takes the place of Jerry Smith, who left Sept. 30, 2012. Washburn joins Phill Barrett, Shoubee Liaw, Roger Olstad and Gidget Terpstra on the five-member Board. All appointments are made by the Governor.

The Seattle campus of Boston-based Northeastern University is in the South Lake Union area of Seattle. Starting in 2013, the campus plans to offer graduate-degree programs in business, education and nonprofit, healthcare leadership and management and science, engineering and technology. Earlier this year, Northeastern received state approval to become the state’s first private research university.

In a May interview with the Puget Sound Business Journal, Washburn talked about his career move. “It resonated with my desire for our region to stay strong,” he said. “Most important, it will help our economy stay strong because it’s going to try and narrow the gap between the workers we need and the workers we’re producing here.”

Washburn said that Northeastern’s arrival in Seattle isn’t about competing with other schools for students; it is about offering more education to more people at all levels.

“It’s a question of how the existing institutions … of higher learning work together and collaborate to improve our region,” Washburn said. “And I know a lot of the college presidents. My first round of tours will be to go out and talk to them and figure out how we can work together, for example, to break the logjam in Olympia for funding K-12 and higher-ed.

“One of the greatest threats to our regional economy is our workforce shortage … meaning that all of the existing institutions in our state fall short in many different sectors to meet the capacity needs, the workforce needs, of our companies.

“Education is the key to prosperity for all people. I’ve volunteered at the K-12 level with School First! I’m working at the graduate level with Northeastern and I’ve very excited to now be involved with a community college of Shoreline’s caliber.”

SCC/Jim Hills