Superintendent Update #2
Monday, March 19, 2018
Our construction project at PBE continues to make good progress. Since I last wrote to you, work crews have deconstructed, applied anti-microbial and obtained environmental clearance, in most of Zone 1 (west hallway). They have also completed demolition and applied anti-microbial in all of zone 2 (north hallway), and I anticipate receiving full environmental clearance for this area today. That means that the reconstruction in both zones 1 and 2 will begin this week. At the same time, ServPro will move into zone 3 (K-wing through main office) to begin demolition. Once they have completed demolition in zone 3 and received environmental clearance, they will begin the reconstruction of zone 3 and begin the demolition in zone 4 (the library). I am told that reconstruction will take longer than the tear down and mitigation. I have asked our contractors to make the classrooms our top priority; that’s why the library is being done last.
Throughout this process, I have monitored both the construction updates and the daily environmental testing. I can still say with confidence that there has been no exposure to airborne hazards during the project, so the containment area is working as it should. That said, we have uncovered an additional challenge. We have detected mold on the backside of the wallboard in rooms 113 and 140 (right next to the containment area in the back, west hallway).* Those walls were not exposed to the flood, so we can only surmise that this is from some previous incident. Even though these walls have been scrubbed, rooms 111 and 138 cannot receive environmental clearance, because the protocol calls for the wall sections to be removed. Given the history of past moisture problems at PBE, we are left believing that there may be more problems hiding in the walls of that back hallway.
From the beginning, my intent with this current project has been to keep students and staff safe. That commitment remains, even if the project extends beyond what insurance will cover. Therefore, we have undertaken an effort to estimate the cost in dollars and time to remediate the rest of the rooms in that hallway, and we think we should consider doing the work this summer. While we can’t open up the walls to test them without potentially releasing what (up to now) has been contained, we can ensure you that whatever additional work we do undertake will follow the same safety protocols we have employed during the current project.
The safety of the students, staff and faculty are my top priority. It is my intent to have any environmental hazards remediated, regardless of whether they came from the flood event or were pre-existing. The job is not done until I am satisfied that we have a safe and clean environment for all users of the building.
* Since the discovery of the damage on the backside of the wall board in rooms 113 and 140, we have been taking daily air samples in those two rooms on any day when students are in session. There have been no anomalies detected.