Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Arizona school safety bill passes committee

PHOENIX -- The Education Committee passed a bill Monday that would make school structures safer and prevent dangers like the roof collapses that occurred at several Valley schools last year.

House Bill 2760, sponsored by Rep. Rae Waters, D-Ahwatukee (District 20), requires that that each school adopts preventative maintenance guidelines for its buildings, including plumbing, electrical systems, heating, ventilation, and other special systems.

It also recommends that roofing systems be inspected for signs of structural weakness by a licensed contractor.

“My hope is that this bill will ensure a safer learning environment for our children while at the same time improve our schools,” Waters said. “The value of education is only as good as the structures that support and maintain it, and improved infrastructure puts us one step closer in getting Arizona on the right track.”

Nearly a year ago on March 16, Tempe's Waggoner Elementary School’s roof to collapsed onto the multipurpose room. Luckily, no children were in the school at the time, but the disaster flooded 12 classrooms and forced students to miss several days of school.

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