School officials: Osborn Hill cleared of PCB threat, set to open Thursday
Updated 6:35 pm, Saturday, August 25, 2012
Osborn Hill School will open for the new academic year on schedule Thursday, according to school officials, who said that most areas of the building have been cleaned levels that PCB contamination does not pose a health threat to students.
However, two kindergarten classrooms will have to be temporarily re-located because test results are not in yet for those spaces, according to a letter to parents Friday from Supt. of Schools David Title and Principal Frank Arnone.
They said all the other classrooms to be occupied by students have recently tested within federal Environmental Protection Agency guidelines for PCBs, though they are still waiting on the test results from kindergarten rooms 107 and 108. Those two classes will start the year in either the art room or the math room. When test results for those two come back and meet EPA guidelines, the kindergartners will be move into the classrooms.
In the meantime, art instruction will take place in classrooms.
PCBs, toxic materials that have been found in window caulking and fireproofing at the Stillson Road elementary school, are considered potential carcinogens.
Some common areas of the school still have not received clearance for use -- the library media center and the boys and girls bathrooms in the main hallway -- and cleaning will continue there. If clearance is not received by the start of classes, those areas will be closed off to students and staff, and library services will be provided on a cart, officials said.
All of the school's instructional materials, supplies and equipment have been tested and the results are safe, according to officials.
Because the gymnasium will take longer to remediate and will be off-limits, a temporary gym is being acquired for temporary use on the property. It should be in place by the end of September, officials said. In the meantime, physical education classes will be held outdoors weather permitting and in the all-purpose room during inclement weather.
The school district has filed a draft of a plan for periodic PCB monitoring, testing and, if necessary, cleaning throughout the school year with the EPA, as required. A plan for the gym's remediation and the window replacement is also being developed and school officials will seek funding from the as quickly as possible.
Because a final cleaning was planned over the weekend, Osborn Hill staff will not begin setting up rooms until Monday. Therefore, parents are asked to refrain from visiting the school prior to the first day of classes on Thursday. There also will not be a kindergarten visitation day before Thursday.