Saturday, September 13, 2008

Vancouver schools seismic death traps

Perhaps not quite, but I do like a nice headline! I've been reading these articles for some time now, and have decided to say something. Seems some politician made a breezy promise, and then handed it over to some poor schnook to complete, with very little money. This guy took the few dollars and put it on a low-priority school that just needed some glue and binder twine.

Now everybody is in a great snit! Schools have always been built shitty, they are built from concrete blocks, and have giant windows in the wall, which is supposed to take the shear. The inner city schools are multi-story, with slab floors hooked on to the walls by a thread.

So, if an earthquake hits them, they collapse. And it's not going to be the 'Big One', which will be offshore, and just producing a tsunami. No, it will be an urban M7 that does the damage.

In reality, these schools cannot be fixed for a dime. As the gov't is finding out, it is a long and horrible process. I would even say that most of these death traps cannot be fixed at all, and have to be torn down. No politician promised that! And since there is no room in the city for new schools, they are in a real pickle.

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