Even if local school officials say all their campuses comply with state seismic safety standards, the investigative news organization California Watch performed a public service by bringing to light a bureaucracy that has apparently bungled the tracking of the safety of older school buildings.
The database, made up in part by information compiled in 2002 by the Division of the State Architect, includes categories such as older buildings with “potentially dangerous seismic hazards that require more detailed evaluation” and those that have not been certified by the state.
The report also lists school structures near fault lines, landslide zones, and other potential earthquake-related hazards.
While some of the media coverage may have been alarmist, the report still highlights the need for the state to catch up on making sure hundreds of aging school facilities don’t lag behind earthquake safety standards. And for those that need retrofitting, it also highlights the need for Sacramento to provide cash-strapped school districts with the resources to address the problems.