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Davis Journal

Seismic report identifies 17 schools in district that have unreinforced masonry

May 06, 2022 10:42AM ● By Becky Ginos

Bountiful Elementary is slated for a future rebuild. Several schools on the list have already been replaced. Photo by Becky Ginos

FARMINGTON—Seventeen schools in the Davis School District were identified as having unreinforced masonry (URM) in a recent statewide report by the Utah Department of Public Safety’s Division of Emergency Management on the seismic conditions of schools. However, several of the schools were on the list based on the original build year and those have been replaced.

The district is aware of the buildings on the list and commissioned its own seismic studies in 2006 and 2017, Facilities Administrator Gary Payne said during a presentation to the Board of Education at a recent meeting. “This report is not a surprise to us. We’ve known about it for decades and because of that knowledge, these schools have been replaced.”

Reconstruction has taken place on older buildings that include Bountiful Junior High, Centerville Elementary, Clinton Elementary, Syracuse Elementary and West Point Elementary, Payne said. 

The district has also fully reconstructed some of its oldest buildings that include Davis High, North Davis Junior High, South Clearfield Elementary and West Bountiful Elementary. Bountiful Elementary and Sunset Junior High are on the list for a future rebuild, he said.

Payne also told the board that the other 12 schools have already had seismic upgrades throughout the years such as connecting walls to the roof to help prevent a roof collapse during an earthquake.

“This report is a good thing for us, because it brings the attention of the concern that we have to the state level,” said Payne. “The most important thing stated in the report states that authors do not believe any students are in imminent danger – and it just brings to light the scope of the problems.”

“There is no question that some of our schools are old and date precode 1972,” said Business Administrator Craig Carter. “Through the efforts of Gary’s team, we have worked hard to try and make them as safe as possible.” λ