Northside Elementary set to reopen | News | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | February 3, 2016 5:00 pm
Last Updated: February 3, 2016 at 1:27 pm
By GEORGE SALSBERRY
Northside Elementary School’s approximately 577 students go back to their regular classrooms beginning Feb. 9.
Colleton County School Superintendent Dr. Franklin Foster reported on Jan. 27 that Northside Elementary School had been given a clean bill of health and the building, which started the new year plagued by an outbreak of mold, had been cleared for occupancy by Andy Rowland, senior industrial hygienist with Applied Building Sciences Inc. in Charleston.
Rowland, who has been working with the school district since the outbreak of mold was discovered on Jan. 4, presented Foster with a letter informing the school district that Northside’s mold remediation project was complete.
Rowland stated in his letter that all areas tested resulted in findings consistent with normal desirable indoor conditions.
Rowland also said that the final visual inspection of the school building had been conducted and final air samples collected on Jan. 25.
The air samples were sent to EMSL Analytical, Inc. for analysis.
“I am pleased to report that all of the air sampling data from these rooms/area was found to be consistent with normal, desirable indoor conditions,” he said.
Rowland added that in addition to the samples sent to EMSL, members of Applied Building Sciences, Inc. collected eight additional samples from throughout the building and submitted them to Dr. James R. Tucker of University Laboratory Associates, LLC for independent analysis. Tucker’s findings “were absolutely consistent with normal, desirable indoor conditions,” Rowland added.
Foster said that since the district has received clearance, district maintenance, custodial and teaching staff are working diligently to prepare the building for students to return on Feb. 9.
Friday will be the last day that Northside Elementary School students and staff do their classwork at the variety of temporary locations students and staff have been calling home for the past few weeks.
Students will not attend school on Feb. 8, a day set aside as a workday for Northside Elementary’s teachers and staff.
Also on Feb. 8 from 3-5 p.m., the school will host a drop-in for parents who wish to check on the condition of the school building.
Foster also reported that the district has received approval from the State Department of Education to extend the school day by one hour at Northside from Feb. 16 until April 21 to make up the lost instructional time. Teachers will use the allotted time to focus on reading and math by providing engaging, interactive activities to support the curriculum standards, Foster said.
Foster said, “Out of an abundance of caution and safety for our students and staff, these measures were necessary to return the indoor air quality back to desirable indoor conditions.” He added that he also wished to thank “everyone involved for their assistance and support during this unfortunate time.”