BERKELEY (KPIX 5) — Parents of schoolchildren at a Berkeley elementary school are uneasy following a report indicating the school may be unsafe during a major earthquake.
“It’s scary,” is not the feeling you want when you drop off your kindergartner at school, but Jaclyn Lee says that’s how she feels knowing Oxford Elementary in Berkeley is at risk of major earthquake damage.
“Honestly, the more I think about it, think, they shouldn’t be going to school here,” said Lee. “And if there is that risk then I don’t want to ever take it, because things happen.”
A new report found the school faces an “elevated risk” during an earthquake, thanks to its location in the Berkeley Hills. It’s in a landslide zone, and the report says it could move up to 20 feet in an earthquake.
Still, the school district says, it meets state safety standards which does give parents like John Nicholas Gross peace of mind.
“I think we live in an area where everything engineering-wise is very conservative,” said Gross. “People always plan for the worst-case scenario. I don’t live my life like that. I kind of think its possible something could happen but I’m not worried about it now.”
The school district says it’s plan is to move students off the campus after the end of the academic year, but what’s next isn’t decided.
In the meantime, parent Jennifer Lopez says the threat of a major quake and its safety hazards will be in the back her mind.
“You think the worst when your kid is inside one of the classrooms on the first floor,” said Lopez. “We live in California, so in the back of my mind it’s something you just have to prepare for and accept.”