Girard board says no to more building tests
By TIM YOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
GIRARD -- The school board and a lawyer representing some Girard Intermediate School pupils and teachers are at odds over more tests to discover if there are building deficiencies causing illnesses.
Atty. Terry Moore of Canton said Thursday he has proposed that an environmental specialist chosen by parents and teachers become involved in interpreting the results of environmental tests at the school and conduct more of them at the school board's expense.
Teachers and parents should also have some input into what will be done to correct deficiencies related to health issues, he said.
The school, new last fall, was closed May 1 because pupils, teachers and staff members were getting ill.
On Wednesday, school district officials said most of the carpeting will be torn out and replaced with a hard surface, and the heating and ventilation ductwork will be replaced.
Fungi were found in some areas of the carpet. One of 29 areas in the ducts tested by Clayton Group Services, an Akron-based environmental consultant, also tested positive for fungi.
Board rejected proposal: Richard Ragozine, school board president, said Thursday that the board has rejected Moore's proposal.
"That type of proposal didn't sit well with the board at all," Ragozine said.
"We've done the testing. We're more than happy with the work Clayton has done for us," he added.
Moore said he is looking to receive the board's response to his proposal by next Wednesday.
If he doesn't receive a response, Moore said, he will meet with his clients to determine what they want to do. He stopped short of threatening a lawsuit.
"We will do what we have to do to protect the interests of the students and teachers," he said.
'Marginal' cost: Moore said the cost of the work done by the environmental specialist selected by parents and teachers would be "marginal" to the board and would be in addition to tests conducted by Clayton, rather than duplicate tests.
The expert would be "disinterested" to the extent that he wasn't involved in construction of the building, the air quality of which is being called into question, the attorney said.
Moore said he wants the testing to be done before any remedial work begins so the tests are taken under the same conditions as Clayton's tests.