School Buildings Closed Following 5.7-Magnitude Earthquake
WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — Several school buildings were closed across Northern Utah, causing major disruptions for students trying to pick up meals and school materials, after a 5.7-magnitude earthquake hit the Wasatch Front.
The quake shook parts of Utah, Idaho, Nevada, and Wyoming at 7:09 a.m. Wednesday, with the epicenter coming out of Magna.
School districts announced they were closing their facilities for safety reasons following the earthquake.
In light of this morning's earthquake, all district buildings will remain closed today. Please continue to check our website for updates. We will have an update on our website at 3pm today. https://t.co/5LVObrNl8C #utpol #uted
— SLC School District (@slcschools) March 18, 2020
In light of the 5.7 earthquake that hit Magna and the aftershocks that we continue to feel across Davis County, we are closing all district facilities, including schools, and plan to resume business tomorrow. We are closing to ensure the safety of staff and the public. pic.twitter.com/EpZQsbvr9m
— DavisSchools (@DavisSchools) March 18, 2020
Parents and students who had planned to go to a school today to obtain hard-copy materials for at-home learning, are advised to call the school in advance. For now, schools are closed as a precaution after this morning's earthquake.
— Canyons District (@canyonsdistrict) March 18, 2020
PATRON ALERT: All school and district operations will cease for today, March 18, in accordance with direction from state emergency management officials. School breakfast and lunch should continue tomorrow as should Chromebook distribution. https://t.co/1tvhTDqNYF
— Granite School Dist. (@GraniteSchools) March 18, 2020
It created a disruption for those who were planning to pick up breakfast, lunch or online learning devices.
“I’m happy because I don’t get to do my work today,” said West Valley City 5th grader Erandy Soto when asked how she felt about not getting her Chromebook.
School districts all across the Wasatch Front sent parents text, email, and phone alerts within a couple hours after the earthquake hit, saying they couldn’t allow anyone in the schools until crews made sure they were safe.
School officials said it was lucky that was the biggest problem.
“If the earthquake had been a little more severe, we would have expected to see a lot more damage because we have a lot of older buildings in our district,” said Ben Horsley, communications director for the Granite School District. “We do hope to improve that situation over time, but considering the circumstances, we feel very fortunate.”
There were some rumors going around that West Lake Stem School, one of the oldest buildings in the Granite district, was structurally damaged, but Horsley said there was no evidence of any damage except for some ceiling tiles that fell. He also said there were a couple gas leaks and water leaks throughout the district, but they were quickly taken care of.
Officials said schools ultimately needed to close today so every building could be checked to make sure it was safe.
Most districts said they plan to have lunches available tomorrow as well as opportunities to pick up those online learning devices. But if you have questions, check your school district’s social media pages.
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