About The Resilience Institute

The Resilience Institute is part of WWU Huxley’s College of the Environment. It facilitates scholarship, education, and practice on reducing social and physical vulnerability through sustainable community development, as a way to minimize loss and enhance recovery from disasters in Washington State and its interdependent global communities.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

School Vulnerability in OR & WA

Been a bit too busy to catch lots of the good stuff in the NYT. I was reading along today and read the name of a friend, Yumei Wang, who wrote the NYT about seismic safety of school in the US and in particular Oregon. She answered this question for us:

I hope that the problem with seismically unsafe schools in the U.S. does not get overlooked. Although California has had school safety laws since 1933, other states have not. As you know, I work in Oregon. Last year, we conducted “screenings” on 3,300 public schools and emergency buildings. Our results, which are available online, indicate that 1,300 have high to very high probability of collapse. We will apply another screening “filter” to reduce that number; however, in the end, Oregon will need to mitigate about 1,000 school buildings.

And on the topic of Washington and their schools? She wrote, "They are still sleeping (except the city of Seattle has done stuff)."

Considering that Washington State's constitution states that "[i]t is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste, or sex" it would seem like seismic safety of all public schools, regardless of location, is also of "paramount duty."

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