A VOSD/KPBS Special Report
What We Found
Nearly a decade after state experts flagged hundreds of school buildings for possible earthquake risks, only about 100 of the 301 San Diego County school buildings on the list have been reviewed, repaired or demolished.
What It Means
Children go to school in roughly 200 buildings across the county where earthquake safety is still an unanswered question, the result of a long string of shortcomings in how California and its school districts have handled seismic safety.
The Back Story
Experts scrutinized blueprints for school buildings built before 1978, when building codes were beefed up, and identified those with potential problems. The state then told school districts that the only way to find out for sure whether the buildings were hazardous was to get them inspected by a structural engineer.
The Problems
The state lagged in getting the information to school districts and offered schools little money to help with inspections and repairs.

Some school districts never got their buildings examined, however, even after they learned they could be at risk. Some failed to do inspections even though they had money to spend on other renovations.

About This Project
California Watch, a statewide investigative reporting group, first exposed these and other problems with how California ensures its schools can weather earthquakes. VOSD and KPBS teamed up to find out how schools here had followed up on the earthquake safety concerns voiced by the state.
For More
Tune into KPBS 89.5 FM on Thursday and Friday at 5:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. to hear the two-part radio report.

Listen to Emily Alpert and California Watch’s Corey G. Johnson on KPBS’ Midday Edition at noon on Thursday. And watch an interview with KPBS’ Kyla Calvert on KPBS-TV’s “San Diego Week” at 8 p.m. Friday.

Dagny Salas

Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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