The industrial hygienist who investigated spoke Tuesday night to a full of concerned parents.
, told the crowd his main concerns with the school focused on “small mold growth and dampness" and that the problems could be fixed quickly and easily. He did not identify the situation as a "hazard," but said students with "sensitive immune systems" were more likely to experience agitation in the school's environment.
“We have found that the dampness and the mold in the crawl space is a concern. That is our only identified health problem,” Light said. “We’re completing work within the next week to have very specific and easy recommendations to completely eliminate the dampness and the mold in the building.”
Light said he inspected “,” and conducted around 50 interviews with parents and staff members. He identified issues like high humidity, steam leaks and standing water—all of which he said require relatively simple fixes.
As the night continued, many parents became unsettled by what they claimed to be a “lack of findings.”
“The story seems too good to be true,” parent Gary Fritter said. “The school is so degradable. The patches they have to fix these problems—it won’t get the job done.”
Many parents echoed Fritter’s words after the meeting, including PTA president Jenny Corkill.
“Clearly our children’s health and safety needs must be met today,” Corkill said. “Fix what you can today but put us down in the feasibility study.”
Edgewater Elementary was initially built in the 1950s. Despite renovations since then, its age and type of [heating and cooling] equipment are extra barriers in providing an atmosphere for learning, Light said.
“This is an older system. It can’t do what a brand new system would do [in terms of ventilation],” Light said.
Light said work is already underway to fix key findings from his assessment, including steam leaks and a roof drainpipe break. He couldn’t give an approximate date, but Light did said it will be a few weeks before he can declare his final recommendations for the school.
One unhappy parent felt like the school board isn't doing enough to acknowledge parents' concerns. The child of that same parent is reportedly going to a different school due to the building's health concerns, despite living within walking distance.
When asked if she thought parents left the meeting satisfied or happy, Corkill said, “No.”