'We want our schools to be safe places for our students every day'

Earthquake preparedness becomes a topic for local 4J schools

EUGENE, OR. – Following the earthquake in Alaska, local schools are looking into earthquake preparedness, which is crucial in order to stay safe.

The recent passing of a 4J bond measure last November, will give three schools seismic upgrades.

“Almost all the school district schools were built during the baby boom in the 1940's and 50's and 60's to accommodate their growth in students," said 4J Spokeswoman, Kerry Delf. "Well those buildings are aging."

Increased taxes from the 4J bond measure will go to rebuild Edison Elementary, Camas Ridge Elementary and North Eugene High School.

The brand new buildings will be designed to meet updated safety standards, including earthquakes.

“We want our schools to be safe places for our students every day,” said Delf.

The new Howard Elementary is the most recent model for this. Improved windows, walls and overall design of the building makes sure students are safe.

“These ones, if they do shatter, they shatter into cubes so that they're not going to cut and be jagged," said Alan Chin, the principle of Howard Elementary. "So they're going to be a lot safer if they were to break."

Its not just physical improvements, but even the way in which students evacuate is re-imagined.

“There's always multiple entrances and exits in terms of how people can leave the building if there was an emergency type of situation,” said Chin.

4J will start planning the new schools in early 2019.

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