Blog Archives

Federal Asbestos Regulations Failed To Be Met At An Iowa High School

By Jillian Duff, http://www.mesothelioma.com/

georgewashschoolConstruction workers at George Washington Senior High School in Cedar Rapids failed to meet asbestos removal regulations. As a result, fibers from the hazardous material became airborne and now the school is closed for further abatement and testing.

According to the Cedar Rapids Community School District’s Manger of Buildings and Grounds Rob Kleinsmith, construction was occurring to finish the third and final year of replacing the school’s heating and ventilation system when the asbestos was discovered.

Environmental Program Supervisor in the Department of Natural Resources’ Air Quality Bureau Brian Hutchins, said, “The material isn’t a health risk as long as it’s properly contained.”

Currently, laws do not exist to mandate removal of all asbestos from schools, but each school should have a management plan in case the toxic mineral becomes damaged and no longer contained. By law, parents can review the management plan in place and if no action is taken to correct the situation soon, the local U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should be notified immediately. Read more

Teachers, Students Say Jordan Elementary Mold Made Them Ill

By Liz Collin, http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/

jordan elementaryHospitalized children, and their parents, say it’s because of what they’re breathing at school.

Halle Wassenberg, 7, spent months seeing different doctors.

“It made me feel yucky,” she told WCCO. “It didn’t feel good at all.”

She’s one of three students in the same classroom to leave Jordan Elementary School this year. Two teachers have also left. They all blame mold for making them sick. The school maintains the building is safe.

But a WCCO Investigation found mold concerns months ago were kept from parents. Read more

Student says mysterious illnesses caused by school’s air quality

By Meghan Schiller, http://www.abc57.com

gasmaskA Penn High School student says he is being poisoned by the air in his school. He believes the chemicals and mold in the air are making it difficult for him to breathe. His family is getting the Indiana Department of Health involved.

In a few days, 16-year-old Cody Hicks will go to Indianapolis to get tested by a toxicology specialist. He hopes to find an answer to his mysterious health problems.
“Think of your lungs burning and it felt like something was stabbing them,” said Hicks.

That’s how Hicks says he feels when he walks the halls of Penn High School.

He has dozens of doctor notes, prescriptions for every allergy medication in the book and 4 pages listing his excused absences.

“My doctor was completely baffled- he had no idea. He said an allergic reaction, but I’m not sure what’s causing it,” said Hicks.

The family gave us pictures showing possible issues inside the school. they believe the photos show mold, fungal growth, water leaks, and chemical cleaners.

Hicks says the only way he could walk down the halls without wanting to collapse was to wear a gas mask.

“I had to wear a gas mask through the halls because when I walked through the halls it would really get to me– it was like the worst area in the entire school,” said Hicks.

“I think they believe he’s making this up,” said Hicks’ mother Bonnie Hicks. “I know he’s not making this up.”

Hicks says he wasn’t allowed to walk the halls with the mask on.

His mom contacted the Indiana Health Department. They conducted an indoor air quality evaluation at the school.

The Health Department sent a letter to the superintendent on June 12 giving the district 60 days to take action on three deficiencies.

They include classrooms that exceeded the acceptable level of carbon dioxide, stained ceiling tiles in classrooms that show a moisture problem and use of chemicals such as Windex and other cleaners that aggravates respiratory conditions. Read more

The mold wins: Cedarbrook Middle School to close

By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer

Cheltenham School District officials announced a plan Monday to close Cedarbrook Middle School as early as Jan. 27, splitting its 750 students among four other campuses in the township.

The school board will vote Tuesday night on a contract with Gratz College to house half of Cedarbrook’s students.

The school is split into six teams, each with about 125 students. Two eighth-grade teams and one seventh-grade team will go to Gratz. One seventh-grade team will go to Elkins Park Elementary, and another to Cheltenham Elementary. The third eighth-grade team will go to Cheltenham High School.

At all four sites, the district plans to keep the middle schoolers confined to their own areas, away from older or younger students.

The district hopes by the 2015-16 school year to bring all Cedarbrook students back together in modular or temporary units on a single site.

It will likely take about four years to design and build a new permanent middle school, Thomas said.

Cedarbrook has been dealing with mold problems for a decade, and they spun out of control this summer. The school opened two weeks late in September as crews swept the building, and since then 12 classrooms and the cafeteria have had mold recurrences and are now closed.

At a meeting with parents Monday night, Superintendent Natalie Thomas said there was no more time to delay.

“There’s no amount of money that will prevent this from happening again in the spring or sooner,” Thomas said, noting that the leaky roof is already loaded with snow. Read More

More asbestos found in Rock Island school

Rock Island Clock Tower

Rock Island Clock Tower (Photo credit: wonder_al)

By Tara Becker, http://qctimes.com

An additional 10,000-square-feet of asbestos discovered on the second floor of the former Audubon Elementary School in Rock Island will cost $57,000 to remove, a spokeswoman for the Rock Island-Milan School District said Monday.

 

Holly Sparkman said the removal may add only a day or two to the asbestos abatement process, with demolition scheduled to begin the first week in December.

 

The school board will vote on the additional work and cost during a special meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Administration Center, 2101 6th Ave.

 

Valley Construction of Rock Island began removing asbestos from the building Nov. 7 to prepare the building to be demolished.

 

Sparkman said the construction crew recently discovered that tiles on the ceiling of the second-floor had layers of mastic glue, a heavy-duty adhesive primarily made out of asbestos. Read More

 

Schools get in on LEED certification

By Stephanie Toone, http://www.nashvilleledger.com

An East Nashville middle school once marred by mold, asbestos and age is set to receive an almost full facelift that will add it to the list of Metro Nashville Public School’s “greenest” buildings.

Highland Heights, the Douglas Avenue building that most recently housed KIPP Academy Charter School for grades 5-8, is slated to become a LEED-Silver Certified building.

“The cost savings alone makes LEED the best option,” says Claire Pitt, project manager for contractor R.G. Anderson Company.

“The building will be overall more efficient by recycling 75 percent of the building debris for other construction projects, the recycled drywall [will be used], and the pervious parking lot [will] conserve water,” she says.

The front half of the school represents the largest repurposed element of the project, Pitt says. The wall and roof structure of the school’s front will be retained in the rehabbed building.

Metro Schools are following the trend of schools systems nationwide seeking to take advantage of the cost-savings and educational benefits of building LEED-certified schools, says Tiffany Wilmot, president of Nashville’s Wilmot Inc., a building sustainability consulting firm. Read More