Earthquake Damages Silver Crest Elementary In Herriman

Mar 18, 2020, 7:27 PM | Updated: 7:50 pm

HERRIMAN, Utah – Social distancing and the “soft closure” of Utah schools may have saved the lives of elementary students in Herriman after large bricks fell from the building onto the school entrance.

The shaking was felt all across parts of Northern Utah, Nevada, Idaho and Wyoming Wednesday morning.

Although there were no reports of any deaths or serious injuries, there were multiple reports of damage to buildings.

Many people KSL spoke to in Herriman said it was a good thing school was closed. When the ground started shaking, pieces of the masonry on Silver Crest Elementary School fell right near the front door to the school.

Those bricks could have definitely hurt someone.

Even after hearing what happened, Hillary Arveseth still had to see it for herself.

“That’s really crazy,” she said. “I can’t believe the damage that was done here. I’m glad we weren’t heading into school this morning.”

Arveseth said her son normally goes to school around the same time as the earthquake.

When the 5.7-magnitude quake, large bricks from the overhanging façade fell onto the pavement in front of the school’s front door.

“We only had one person who was in the building at the time. That’s our custodian,” said Principal Ann Pesetto. “He started opening things up, and then after the earthquake he started walking around looking for damage.”

Pesetto said the inside of the school was fine. It was only the outside that had damage.

Since the overhang was more for looks than structural integrity, work crews spent the morning removing the remaining bricks just to be on the safe side.

“Nothing structural or any safety situations,” said Pesetto. 

Jordan School District work crews also inspected Blackridge Elementary in Herriman, since that school has a similar design to Silver Crest, with an overhanging façade.

However, no bricks fell there, and caution tape was removed by about noon.

One positive note for both schools was that they were closed because of coronavirus. That means no students or teachers were at Silver Crest.

Arveseth said it was a good lesson for her children to always be aware and to be prepared.

“They’re a little freaked out, but they’re good,” she said. “They keep asking me, ‘When are we going to feel more.’ I don’t know. That’s the thing with earthquakes. You never know. There’s no way to tell.”

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Earthquake Damages Silver Crest Elementary In Herriman