California School District Closes Auditoriums Due to Earthquake Vulnerabilities

Auditoriums at Beverly Hills High, El Rodeo and Hawthorne schools have been closed after concerns over their earthquake preparedness.

The Beverly Hills Unified School District in California has shut down the auditoriums at three schools after they were found to be susceptible to an earthquake collapse.

The school board decided to close the auditoriums at Beverly Hills High, El Rodeo and Hawthorne schools after a warning from an interim facilities manager about the seismic deficiencies. Parents received a letter explaining the danger of the ceilings, which weigh as much as 40 pounds per square foot in some areas. In all, the district has identified 14 buildings that need seismic improvements, according to abc7.com.

The source of funding for the necessary renovations is still unclear. State funding could take years and board members are hesitant to push for more taxes. Some members want to use existing bond money.

A majority of board members voted to wait at least a month to get a second opinion on the auditoriums from a structural engineer despite school faculty concerns over space restrictions.

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