California has the most stringent regulations for public school construction in the nation. These regulations, as part of the Field Act, require earthquake resistant design and construction of all K through 12 public schools and community colleges. Since the Field Act was enacted in 1933, earthquake damage to school buildings has been minimal.
In the past, school districts were allowed to occupy schools before all the construction certifications were completed. As a result, some 16,000 projects were closed by the California Division of the State Architect (DSA) without certification. DSA is addressing the non-certified projects, while at the same time ensuring that current projects achieve DSA certification when construction is complete. To do this, DSA is using a new inspection card system to standardize the process.