Learn about seismic dangers near California schools

April 7, 2011

TO GET STARTED: To see all public schools within a county or city, choose a county or city from the lists below. Search for a specific school with the search box above the map.

Or search for a school (statewide)
SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY 400 total schools
AB 300 projects
About 4,500 statewide
1,671 unmapped
"Letter 4" projects
About 1,400 statewide
839 statewide
91 statewide
1,626 statewide
18 statewide

Earthquakes are a fact of life in California, and many schools are near fault lines or other earthquake hazards. That doesn't mean they'll collapse in a quake, but many school construction projects have failed to follow basic safety standards. California Watch uncovered about 20,000 projects that lack Field Act certification. Another state report released in 2002 found 9,659 buildings at about 3,000 schools with potentially dangerous seismic hazards.

But the state's data is messy. Names are misspelled. Schools are located in the wrong district, or don't appear to exist at all. California Watch's investigation found about 1,400 "Letter 4" uncertified projects and about 4,500 AB 300 projects at public schools. But about 595 "Letter 4" uncertified projects and about 1,671 AB 300 projects could not be mapped and are not included. You can download more complete uncertified and AB 300 lists here.

Sources: California Department of Education, Division of the State Architect, California Geological Survey, Los Angeles Unified School District, California Watch research.

Credits: Interactive by Agustin Armendariz, Michael Corey, Chase Davis and Andrew Long. Research by Marie C. Baca, Jason Fisher, Corey G. Johnson, Stephanie Rice, Kendall Taggart.

Filed under: K-12