City declares Napa school district's schools safe to re-open

Lyanne Melendez Image
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Engineers say Napa schools safe to open Wednesday
Building inspectors have completed their survey of Napa schools and have declared them safe to re-open.

NAPA. Calif. (KGO) -- Engineers have finished inspecting all 30 schools in Napa and found the quake did no structural damage. The Stone Bridge Charter School, which had not started yet, will postpone opening day after some cracks were found. The task of getting ready for students is underway.

For the past two days, three teams of architects and engineers have been examining every inch of Napa's 30 schools looking for any structural damage following Sunday morning's earthquake.

"There was no structural damage throughout the entire district, which is really good news. It just shows you how well school buildings are built," said Mark Quattrocchi of Quattrocchi Kwok Architects.

That's because by law, all public schools in California must meet a higher set of seismic standards. Not all charter and private schools have to comply.

"Our schools are in great shape," said Patrick Sweeney, Napa Unified School District Superintendent. "Many are old, some need to be modernized with more technology; however, in terms of safety, they were all examined by structural engineers and architects."

Some schools like Napa High School will need minor repairs. That will take days or even weeks to complete.

"It was a lot like you saw in the community, everything just came down, everything came down off the shelves," said Jon Salinger, a Napa High School official. "We have shelves come down all over the place, ceiling tiles, light fixtures that were compromised."

An area of the gym at Napa High will be cordoned off because sound panels are dangling from the roof.

"Those are light-weight acoustic panels, but we still don't want them anywhere students are, so they are going to get up there with scissors and remove them entirely," Quattrocchi said.

Because this was a natural disaster, the school district will get it's Average Daily Attendance funds from the state. The cost to repair all the damage has yet to be determined.