Earthquake damage in Wasilla, Alaska, last November. (Jonathan M. Lettow via AP)

Earthquake damage in Wasilla, Alaska, last November. (Jonathan M. Lettow via AP)

9 Marysville school buildings deemed seismically vulnerable

A statewide survey also assessed earthquake risk at schools in Darrington and on Whidbey Island.

A selective state survey of school buildings found six in Marysville that could be seismically vulnerable to earthquake damage — to an extent that they pose a “very high” life-safety risk. Three others were deemed less risky, but risky nonetheless.

The Washington State School Seismic Safety Assessments Project also reported on buildings in the Darrington, South Whidbey and Coupeville districts. In all, the state Department of Natural Resources examined 222 school buildings — about 5 percent of all public school buildings in Washington.

The report was released last week and is the first phase of a broader review. It based risk assessments on severe Cascadia subduction zone earthquakes which range in magnitude from 7 to 9.

Among Snohomish and Island county school districts:

In Marysville, besides the six buildings found to pose a “very high” life-safety risk, two others were rated as “high” and another was “moderate-high.” The buildings reviewed were on the campuses of Liberty Elementary School, Marysville Middle School and Totem Middle School.

In Darrington, the buildings assessed were the senior high school (“moderate-high” risk), the high school woodshop (“high”) and the elementary school (“very low”).

South Whidbey Elementary was rated as a “low-moderate” risk to occupants.

In Coupeville, the main Coupeville Elementary School building poses a “very high” life-safety risk, the study found. Other school buildings examined there were ranged from “moderate” to “low.”

The Herald Editorial Board recently wrote about the study’s findings in light of last week’s earthquake in rural southern California.

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