Thursday, August 18, 2005

Good news: school safe and to open on time!

The following message is from Joe Sharp, Arbor Heights parent. Below that is the announcement from Dr. Anderson with more specifics

Hello Everybody,

It's been awhile since we sent out an update, because it seems the situation with the school and the work being done to fix the mold and other environmental problems at Arbor Heights has been in a state of flux for some time. But now we have some answers and have some good news to report.

School to Open Safely and On-Time

The work being done to improve the airflow and keep crawlspace air (primary source of mold) out of the classrooms has paid dividends, and the school should be safe and ready to open in September. New univents (heating and ventilation units) have been installed in all of the transportable classrooms, the air intake systems have been redesigned (with the help of Dr. Anderson) to bring in more fresh air, and fans are being installed to ventilate the crawlspaces so crawlspace air will not move up into the classrooms. Dr. Anderson is satisfied that the improvements have made the school safe (see his announcement at the end of this message). Work remains to be done to remove the water and mold under room 16, and it is moving forward. Dr. Anderson, with the PTSA's approval, has been working closely with school district personnel to ensure that all the necessary repairs and improvements are done, and done right, to make our school a healthy one.

Water Problem

The district engineering consultants GSAI have determined that the water under room 16 is not groundwater, as first suspected, but instead likely comes from the school drainage system. This is good news, in that it means it'll be easier to fix. Test are being done this week to determine the exact source of the water. A specification for the needed repairs will be ready at the end of next week


We still have some work to do, and we're working together to make sure it gets done.

Thanks for your ongoing support. If you have any questions, please send them to me at this e-mail address, and I'll try to get them answered. Again, please see Dr. Anderson's announcement following this message.

--E. Joe Sharp Parent Representative Arbor Heights Environmental Task Force

--- Message from Dr. Anderson ---

From: Dr. David R. Anderson []
Sent: Tuesday, August 16, 2005 11:37 PM
Subject: Negative crawlspace and Positive classroom pressurizationworked!

Tests earlier today confirmed the approach to keep air from the wet crawlspace from entering the classroom by positively pressurizing the classroom and negatively pressurizing the crawlspace works. Crawlspace exhaust fans and the Univent in the classroom were able to keep crawlspace air from entering the classrooms in both the main building and portables. Initial tests were conducted in three selected classrooms which had operating univents. Pressures in the classrooms were positive relative to the crawlspace at both high and low univent fan speed s. Further tests are underway to define the size and placement of the crawlspace exhaust fans.

Tests in other classrooms will continue tomorrow and should be completed as soon as the work on the univents is completed, which is scheduled to be completed early next week. The univents will then be configured to provide the required air flow of 15 cfm of fresh air per person at the minimum settings. The mechanical engineer has agreed that he will not sign off on the new univent installations until each classroom meets the both the 15 cfm of fresh air per person requirement and my requirement of positive pressure in the classroom relative to the crawlspace. Normal operating conditions will exceed the minimum settings.

Children will not have to be moved to other schools or additional portables brought in, based on the criteria agreed upon by the parents, teachers, and the District in last Friday's meeting.

Modifications are continuing to optimize the negative pressure in the crawlspace. Now that groundwater has been eliminated as a source of water to the crawlspace, work is continuing on identifying the source of water in the crawlspace. Work is beginning on drying out the water in the crawlspace.

David R. Anderson, Ph.D.


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