The governing board of a school district, prior to acquiring any site on which it proposes to construct any school building as defined in Section 17283 shall have the site, or sites, under consideration investigated by competent personnel to ensure that the final site selection is determined by an evaluation of all factors affecting the public interest and is not limited to selection on the basis of raw land cost only. If the prospective schoolsite is located within the boundaries of any special studies zone or within an area designated as geologically hazardous in the safety element of the local general plan as provided in subdivision (g) of Section 65302 of the Government Code, the investigation shall include any geological and soil engineering studies by competent personnel needed to provide an assessment of the nature of the site and potential for earthquake or other geologic hazard damage.
The geological and soil engineering studies of the site shall be of such a nature as will preclude siting of a school in any location where the geological and site characteristics are such that the construction effort required to make the school building safe for occupancy is economically unfeasible. No studies are required to be made if the site or sites under consideration have been the subject of adequate prior studies. The evaluation shall also include location of the site with respect to population, transportation, water supply, waste disposal facilities, utilities, traffic hazards, surface drainage conditions, and other factors affecting the operating costs, as well as the initial costs, of the total project.
For the purposes of this article, a special studies zone is an area which is identified as a special studies zone on any map, or maps, compiled by the State Geologist pursuant to Chapter 7.5 (commencing with Section 2621) of Division 2 of the Public Resources Code.
(Added by Stats. 1996, Ch. 277, Sec. 3. Operative January 1, 1998.)
Education Code 17283
Government Code 65302
Public Resources Code 2621