Thursday, August 8, 2013

Collapsing Schools

The Eugene Weekly is a free "alt" newspaper that comes out of Eugene, Oregon every Thursday. "Collapsing Schools" is the cover story this week.
Photo by Trask Bedortha
I occasionally pick up a copy to read "This Modern World" and "Red Meat" or to browse through when I've finished reading the internet. My take on the article? It has a very definite Eugene focus- which is to be expected- but change the names and locations to any other west side PNW district, and it's pretty representative of the problems those districts face. Rebuilding and/or remodeling/retrofitting is awfully expensive, and too often, keeping up with new building code is simply impossible. But the closing comments in the final paragraph are too important to ignore:
For engineers like Wang, it’s all about protecting Oregon’s infrastructure and, more importantly, its people.  “The goal is to get something done slowly but surely so it’s not that painful when we divert a small percentage of our funds to improve things,” Wang says of the statewide mission to prepare Oregon schools for a major earthquake. “After it happens, we will definitely wish that we did more. I’ve seen it all around the world. No one ever expects it; it’s always a surprise. But those who prepare well recover more quickly.”
Yes, I think we should be working more quickly. But it's reassuring, as always, to know that even when I'm not aware of it, progress is being made.

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