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Environmental group warns many Italian schools 'unsafe'

37.6% urgently need maintenance work, 38.4% in high-risk areas

08 January, 17:12
Environmental group warns many Italian schools 'unsafe' (ANSA) - Rome, January 8 - Italian school facilities continue to come up short as concerns safety, the environmental association Legambiente said Wednesday. In its annual report on schools, Ecosistema Scuola 2013, the watchdog said that over 60% of school buildings were built prior to 1974, when the latest anti-seismic regulations came into force and that 37.6% urgently required maintenance work.

It added that 40% lack certificates of fitness of use, 38.4% are found in earthquake-prone areas, and 60% do not have fire prevention certificates. Legambiente's 14th annual report on school buildings and services for children covers 94 provincial capitals and highlights the urgent need to take action. There are few places that could serve as examples to be followed, the report said, though the northern areas of Trento, Prato and Piacenza lead the rankings in terms of school facilities. Southern provinces only begin to appear some way down the list, with Lecce in 27th place. Despite a higher level of investment for the first time, the figures show little rise in the quality of Italian school facilities. The only improvements seen were as concerns energy efficiency: 13.5% of schools used renewable energy sources in 2012.