As you may know, the Board of Education unanimously agreed to test the Old Turnpike School and the Tewksbury Elementary School for radon during the spring break, April 11-13. This time period is outside the EPA and DEP recommended timeframe of October-March when there is typically cooler weather and the windows are less likely to be open. The decision to test during spring break was based on the fact that there was unusually warm weather this winter along with afterschool activities that could possibly affect testing. The Board of Education also was in agreement to be proactive and test now versus waiting until October.
The areas that were tested included classrooms, libraries, cafeterias, gymnasiums, office areas, storage areas, custodial closets, mechanical rooms, and kitchens. Measures were taken so that these areas were maintained in a closed condition. The HVAC system continued to function as if it was a normal school day. Throughout the testing period these areas were inspected regularly for open windows and doors.
The results of the radon testing were made available to our school district on April 20, 2012 by RAdata, Inc. These results are to be reviewed at the Board of Education meeting on April 25, 2012, 7:30 p.m. at the OTS library and at the Board of Education Facilities Committee Meeting scheduled for May 16, 2012, 5:30 p.m. at the OTS library. A summary of the results will be sent to the parents and the entire report will also be available to the public at each of the district’s two schools.
Radon concentration is measured in “picocuries per liter (pCi/L). Radon concentrations approaching 100 pCi/L require the possibility of relocating students and staff. Radon levels greater than 4 pCi/L require a remediation process.
Two areas registered radon readings above 4pCi/L. Specifically, these areas are the Girl’s Coach’s office at OTS ( 5.2 pCi/L) and a mechanical closet at TES (12.1 pCi/L).
The school district plans to initiate the investigation and installation of a remediation process in the above two areas immediately. In addition, the school district will voluntarily retest a few additional areas. Specifically at OTS, a custodial closet (3.8 pCi/L), gym storage area (3.7 pCi/L), and a supplemental classroom (3.9 pCi/L) will be retested. All of these areas are below the 4.0 pCi/L level, but will be proactively retested and monitored since they are close to the 4.0 pCi/L level.
At TES, the information technology room and five supplemental instructional areas will be scheduled for testing due to lack of access.
In summary, the Tewksbury Township School District continues to be proactive in addressing potential safety concerns and the recent voluntary radon testing provides additional evidence to this point. Please feel free to contact my office, if you have additional questions in reference to the recent testing, monitoring, and remediation process.