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Schofield PTO: Air Quality Issues Have Been Corrected

The PTO wrote an update based on a report on the school’s condition released Friday.

The Schofield PTO issued a letter yesterday based on a study of ’s air quality conducted Friday.

The study, conducted by Universal Environmental Consultants of Framingham, said that all but two classrooms in the school's "1993 Wing" had acceptable carbon dioxide levels.

All other areas tested were within Indoor Air Quality standards, according to the study.

Here’s the unedited PTO letter:

I am pleased to report Joe McDonough has worked magic and has brought in HVAC technicians who have completely reworked, readjusted, cleaned, installed filters, replaced parts and reassembled the univents in our classrooms.  This was done throughout the 1993 wing, as well as the rest of the school. Why is this a big deal?  Because mold, lethargy, headaches and increased exposure to airborne germs and illness are all symptoms of poor ventilation due to a poorly or non- operating ventilation system. FINALLY, after a decade of documented, subpar environmental health and air quality conditions at Schofield, the moisture and ventilation issues are actually being fixed!  YAY! 

Based upon historic and recent testing results which indicated levels of CO2 greater than industry standards for school aged children and adults, Joe McDonough pursued HVAC experts to maximize the capability of our univent system.  These univents were in remarkably poor condition…..dirty, installed incorrectly, lacking components for proper exhaust, functioning at 10% capacity and requiring a change in extremely old filters.  A decade of nominal maintenance and no attention to historic testing results left our classrooms without adequate ventilation.  This negatively impacted the entire school.

In addition to the ventilation problems, Michael Feeney identified issues related to the way the 1993 wing was constructed.  All across the rear corridor along the windowed wall, the building lacks insulation and remains moisture permeable.  A capital fix will be required and Joe McDonough has been researching the best approach to solve the problem and limit future issues.  This is great, as we want a safe, cost efficient and long lasting solution that solves the problem, not causes additional issues in the future.  He also has been working with Michael Feeney and Lenny Izzo to manage our behavior to limit the potential for mold. Interestingly, the 1993 wing is like a basement, and our behavior is as important as any capital repair in managing environmental health.

Gerardo addressed the ventilation limitations of the modular classrooms and the proposed capital fix. Again, documented environmental testing had demonstrated a problem since the installation of the modular classrooms, and FINALLY our problem that impacts the health and wellbeing of our Schofield Community will be addressed and fixed. 

Michael Feeney, the Director of the Environmental Health of the MA Department of Public Health will be issuing a Final Report on his evaluation of Schofield and will be scheduling a session to present his findings, recommendations and answer our questions.  He has been an incredible resource and source of knowledge and bases all of his findings on facts and science.  We will keep everyone apprised of the scheduled date and time of his presentation to our community and are shooting for an evening session in January.  This will allow our full community - including our teachers the opportunity to attend and participate in the information and question session.

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