Santa Maria -- A school leader has concerns about earthquake
safety in the Santa Maria Bonita School District. The district has been working
to get safety certifications from the state for school buildings on more than a
dozen campuses. They were built by the now defunct contractor Turnkey Schools
School board member Will Smith says the schools do not meet
seismic safety requirements. Smith provided Central Coast News with documents
from inspectors. One letter from 2009 states a building on the Arrellanes
school campus could pose a potential life safety risk for students and staff.
The district says it has addressed these issues, made repairs where necessary,
and is in the process of getting safety certifications from the state.
Smith says, "I want the district to come clean about the
status of these buildings and provide documentation showing the complete status
of these buildings, I want them to inform the public of them and show us the
steps they are taking to repair these buildings."
The district recently received certification for Taylor and
Bonita elementary schools from the Division of the State Architect. DSA issues
safety certifications for California schools. The district provided Central Coast News with DSA letters
stating the schools are in compliance with state seismic safety regulations.
A DSA spokesman says the district is in the process of
certifying it's other campuses and that it is common for schools to use
buildings for years while going through the lengthy process of getting safety
certifications from the state.
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