Construction Project Leads to IAQ, Fumes Issues in Wisconsin School
When students returned to a remodeled Amy Belle Elementary School in Colgate last fall, they had much to look forward to, including a new gym, cafeteria, a remodeled library, upgraded classrooms and four new classrooms from a summer construction project. But they weren’t prepared for air-quality issues that left some with headaches, stomachaches and burning eyes.
Although issues were brought to the administration's attention as early as September, problems persisted even into January, when one of the fifth-grade classrooms was evacuated because of exhaust fumes.
Testing revealed elevated levels of carbon dioxide in some classrooms, according to the district, which has been working to resolve those issues with a variety of strategies. Strategies have included adjusting control systems, air handlers and other HVAC devices and adding a carbon dioxide monitoring device to the system to get more frequent readings, according to Germantown Schools Superintendent Jeff Holmes.
Although the carbon dioxide levels were elevated, they never reached dangerous levels, Holmes.