Thanks to continued voter support of School Construction Bond measures on the ballot, our schools are safer for students and will withstand an earthquake much better than many other schools across the state.
According to a new Washington state analysis by the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) many older schools built before 1975, and those in less repair, may not hold up in an earthquake. Of the 222 school buildings assessed as part of the analysis, most would be unsafe to occupy after a powerful quake, about a quarter would not be able to be repaired, and 43% posed a “high” or “very high” risk for loss of life, according to DNR’s report.
The assessment, which did not include our schools, found that older buildings and those constructed from unreinforced masonry or rigid, under-reinforced concrete were most vulnerable. Engineers assessed each school’s construction and design, considering factors like a structure’s ability to bend before breaking.
Washington state does not require seismic upgrades, nor does the state dedicate funding for retrofits. School districts can only rebuild schools or make much-needed large-scale repairs and improvements when voters approve school construction bond measures. Renton Schools next School Construction Bond measure is on the Nov. 5, 2019 ballot (even with approval, tax-rates for Renton School District taxpayers will continue to decline: read more here).
Thanks to voters throughout Renton School District, our schools are safe, will last for decades, and help improve home values in communities throughout the district.