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Schools design for disasters

Patricia Daddona
August, 2016
After a 2011 tornado killed students and a staff member at Joplin Public Schools, then-Superintendent C.J. Huff brought in 75 concrete bunkers from FEMA to serve as shelters and a safe place during dangerous storms.

Designing new buildings or retrofitting existing ones to meet standards for natural disasters is an especially complex challenge for school leaders. But building to a more modern code makes a district eligible for more federal assistance

Tsunami zone vote impacts Oregon school

Patricia Daddona
August, 2016
School with a view—beautiful but dangerous? Seaside High School is the only building in Seaside School District in Oregon with ocean views, above. Broadway Middle School is in the tsunami inundation zone, but without a view.

The earthquake-susceptible Seaside School District in Oregon—which covers the communities of Gearhart, Cannon Beach and Seaside—faces an estimated $99.7 million bond referendum November 8 to move its schools out of a tsunami zone on the Pacific Ocean.

Seaside has three schools with 1,500 students in the tsunami inundation zone, says Douglas C. Dougherty, former schools superintendent.

Schools build for the future

Ray Bendici
August, 2016
Students and administrators of Clark County School District in Nevada launched construction on six new elementary schools, part of a 10-year, $4.1 billion construction campaign.

Growing evidence shows that well-maintained and updated school facilities promote learning, as well as student and staff health, and help curb long-term school expenses.

Lead fears turn spotlight on underfunded school facilities

Alison DeNisco
June, 2016

Fears of lead-tainted water in U.S. schools surged this year at the same time a report found the nation spends $46 billion less on annual school construction and maintenance than is necessary to ensure safe and healthy facilities.

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