GIRARD Experts probe school's air woes

The superintendent said doors shouldn't have to be opened to reduce carbon dioxide.
GIRARD -- Air quality problems at the Girard Intermediate School continue with higher-than-normal levels of carbon dioxide in some classrooms.
James Dobson, assistant city health commissioner, said he assumes this is the same problem that caused the new building to close last year.
High levels of carbon dioxide and mold were found in the building last year, resulting in health issues such as headaches, sneezing and fatigue.
The school was first opened in 2000. After much renovation, the building was reopened this school year.
Each classroom in the building has unit ventilators that heat and cool the room and should keep carbon-dioxide levels at normal levels, Dobson said.
A look at levels
Dobson said carbon-dioxide levels are not to exceed 700 parts per million above the outside ambient levels.
Five classrooms are at 1,023, more than 700 ppm above the outside air of 323 ppm toward the end of the day.
Superintendent Marty Santillo said no pupils or staff members have become ill.
"It's not so much a health problem, but a construction problem," Santillo said today.
Santillo said Johnson Control Co. and Clayton Heating and Air Conditioning Co. are in the building attempting to determine why the carbon-dioxide levels "spike" after pupils have been in their classrooms most of the afternoon.
Santillo said the levels are reduced when windows are open, but "we shouldn't have to open the doors to eliminate the problem."
The school has about 410 pupils in grades four through six.

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