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GIRARD Air quality at school tests good



Published: Sat, March 22, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



The health department will continue to test the school despite good readings now.

By TIM YOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

GIRARD -- Although air quality readings are normal in Girard Intermediate School, school and health officials aren't willing to say a nagging problem is resolved.

"I don't know yet," Superintendent Marty Santillo said.

"I'll continue to do testing and evaluating," said James Dobson, city heath commissioner.

Both men said temperature and carbon dioxide levels have been normal since March 8.

The school had been closed because of mold problems, then experienced high carbon dioxide levels and extreme variations in temperatures in some rooms when the school reopened.

Clogged intakes

It was discovered earlier this month that all the air intakes were clogged, blocking fresh air from flowing into the building.

Johnson Controls has installed trap doors in the ductwork so the intakes can be blown clean from inside the building.

The intakes are covered by louvers, preventing the screens from being cleaned from the outside.

Dobson said about 40 intakes have been cleaned. They are located above windows in classrooms, offices and hallways.

Large-opening screens

Dave Hall, city engineer who served as a consultant on the building, said he had recommended at the time of construction large-opening screens should cover the intakes to keep birds out.

Hall said he was overruled by then-Superintendent Anthony D'Ambrosio and fine screens were installed to prevent insects from getting in. The fine screens clogged.

Since the intakes have been cleaned, Dobson said the building feels much more comfortable, but declined to say the air quality problems have been resolved.

Since the intakes were cleaned, Santillo explained, only one employee has complained of a health problem.

Santillo said he wasn't informed of the illness until a day later and couldn't do anything about it.

Meanwhile, the school board will hire an engineer to review what has been done with the building and determine if anything else must be done.

yovich@vindy.com




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