Progress on improving the air quality at Center School is coming along about as well as can be expected, Grand Coulee Dam School District Superintendent Dennis Carlson said this week.
He said the district has and is responding to the issues raised in an air quality report by Fulcrum, a firm hired to examine air quality at the school and come up with recommendations on how to deal with the problems.
Air quality has been an issue at the school for several years and came to light when staff at Center went directly to the board with their concerns. About 30 staff members signed on to a letter to the board last February.
The issue was further brought to light by a person who contacted the Grant County Health District, which worked with the district in identifying Fulcrum as a firm that did that type of investigative work.
Several of the recommendations made by Fulcrum have already been implemented.
“We won’t be closing off fresh air ventilation this winter as they have done in the past,” Carlson noted.
The district has already purchased commercial-grade backpack vacuum cleaners that are filtered for daily use.
Ceiling tiles that are water stained have been sprayed to reduce or eliminate places where mold spores can settle.
Janitors went through the building carefully last summer to provide a thorough cleaning of the building, and teachers have cooperated in removing stored materials that can collect dust.
Conditions in one classroom where mold was evident have been improved, and articles that had been stored in front of ventilators have been removed.
The district has improved temperature ranges in classrooms. There were incidents where temperature ranges were above recommended levels and this has been corrected, Carlson stated.
“Butch Stanger, one of our board members, has checked with several staff members at the school and stated that conditions, according to teachers, have improved,” Carlson said.
The district has been working with the county health district in following up concerns of staff members.
The school district has one more full year to be in the Center School building before moving into its new K-12 facility in Coulee Dam.
“We are doing, and will continue to do, everything we can to improve air quality at the school,” Carlson said.