An aging HVAC system and moisture in the old 1993 wing are the main sources of air quality issues at Schofield Elementary School, as detailed in a Massachusetts Department of Public Health study.
The indoor air quality assessment (IAQ) conducted in conjunction with the state Bureau of Environmental Health and makes 25 short-term and three long-term recommendations on how to correct air problems. The short-term corrections mainly deal with issues in the 1993 wing of the school.
The report says the school’s ventilation system was installed along with the building in 1964. The 1993 wing’s system was installed in 1993. The older system has far exceeded the recommended life cycle of 20 years, and the 1993 system will soon follow, the report says.
Readings from 12 of 33 building areas from Dec. 13, 2011 registered above 800 ppm carbon monoxide readings, according to the report, thus indicating “poor exchange.”
Long term, the study recommends a building-wide ventilation assessment be conducted by an outside engineering firm to determine how best to fix or replace old HVAC equipment.
“Strong consideration should be made to replacing univents and exhaust ventilation for classrooms,” the study says.