Nearly a decade ago, state experts flagged thousands of school buildings that might be vulnerable in an earthquake. Engineers cautioned school districts that more inspections were needed to tell if the buildings were in trouble.
But here in San Diego County, many of those inspections never happened. Only about 100 of the 301 school buildings countywide that raised concerns have been reviewed, repaired or demolished.
That means that children go to school in about 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.
Roughly half of those buildings are in South Bay Union School District. It passed a $59 million bond three years ago to upgrade fire alarms, renovate restrooms, ensure schools are accessible to the disabled and make other repairs. Yet it has not checked nearly 100 buildings for seismic safety.