SEASIDE, Ore. -- Voters approved a $100 million bond measure Tuesday to relocate three Seaside School District away from a tsunami inundation zone.
The crumbling Gearhart Elementary, Broadway Middle School and Seaside High School would be underwater in the event a major Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake.
“There are four public schools in Oregon that are in the tsunami inundation zone, we here at Seaside School District have three of those,” Doug Dougherty, Seaside School District Superintendent, said before the voters passes the measure.
The schools sit at an elevation of less than 15 feet. A massive tsunami could generate waves that reach 80 feet high.
Students now have only about 15 minutes to evacuate to higher ground before the waves reached the coastal community.
Seaside senior Kara Ipson knows, some students would not be able to make it to safety.
“You think about all the factors that play into getting out of the school alive, it's a big weight [knowing] that you’re probably not going to make it,” she said.
In 2013 a bond measure that would have relocated the schools to higher ground failed.
Unlike three years ago, this time the bond measure would increase property taxes about 40 percent less, by $1.35 per $1,000 of home value.
Another difference? The district already has the land.
Weyerhaeuser donated 80 acres of land above the tsunami zone to the Seaside School district for the schools.