GIRARD Superintendent assures parents that school is safe

The superintendent called attention to health reports supporting the opening of Prospect Elementary School.
GIRARD -- Girard schools Superintendent Joseph Shoaf is reassuring parents that Prospect Elementary School is safe for occupancy.
Shoaf tells parents, in a letter that was to be mailed today, that the Girard Health Department, Ohio Department of Health and Clayton Group, an environmental consulting firm, all say "there was no evidence that would support the closing" of the elementary building.
The school board voluntarily closed both Prospect and Girard Intermediate School, which are attached, on May 1 before the end of the school year because of health concerns in the intermediate building.
Prospect was reopened three days later, but the intermediate school remains closed as remedial work is being done to resolve the health problems.
Shoaf was named superintendent in August and has pledged to renew relations between the district and the community.
Shoaf pointed out in the letter that Prospect was closed as a precaution, as the single hallway that connects the two schools was sealed. The two buildings do not share any ventilation system, and the schools operate independently, he wrote.
Lawsuit: In his letter, the superintendent called attention to a parents' lawsuit filed Aug. 24 in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court to block the opening of Prospect this school year.
Judge Peter Kontos denied a temporary restraining order, agreeing with Clayton and the city and state health departments that the school shouldn't be closed.
Nonetheless, Shoaf said, "some parents foster a belief that the Prospect Elementary School is unsafe,"
Meanwhile, Cathy Ross, president of the Girard Citizens Committee, said a complaint to remove the board of education will be refiled this week in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court. Ross said more than 1,200 signatures have been obtained.
Last Thursday, Judge W. Wyatt McKay dismissed a complaint to remove board members.

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