It’s been an oft-repeated phrase in the city for months: air quality tests only show a snapshot in time.
Many members of the community, including students, have requested air-quality tests as mold has spread to more than half of Stamford’s public schools. The demand for air-quality tests even prompted a student walkout at Westhill High School this month.
But members of the Mold Task Force and the remediation company, Tighe and Bond, recently met with students and others in the school community to better inform them about air-quality testing and what is needed to fix the problem.
“I felt we got to the point where we’re having a greater understanding,” said Tamu Lucero, deputy superintendent and Mold Task Force member. “We’ve decided going forward this is probably a good model to use for all of our schools. Our hope is to continue to have these conversations.”
Marcello Staiano, 17, who was one of the walkout organizers, said the meeting gave him a better understanding of air-quality tests.
“The thing that was told to us was to accurately take an air-quality test at a school, you have to take a minimum of 10,000 samples,” the Westhill senior said. “It would cost millions. In reality, that’s not worth it.”
Staiano said he’d still like more precise information from the task force.
“There’s a lack of clarity…that needs to be resolved,” he said. “A lot of times, we go to a meeting and there’s people there who are talking about certain things that really are not helping anything.”
Judy Klym, one of the co-presidents of the parent-teacher-student organization, was impressed with the task force’s attention to detail.
“I was very impressed with their knowledge,” Klym said. “In hearing the task force and the company and hearing the level of detail they went into in explaining everything they’re doing, it made me feel more comfortable to know they’re being safe in the way they’re treating and cleaning the school.”
Lucero said students asked about chemicals being used to clean the mold and the next steps for Westhill. After receiving feedback from students about the smell of the cleaning supplies, the group said classrooms will now be closed after they’ve been cleaned until the smell dissipates.
Clarence Zachery, the district’s chief fiscal and operations support officer, said the city has engaged with engineering and architectural firms to fix issues in city buildings that have allowed water intrusion, which causes mold.
At Westhill, Zachery said the city has found and fixed 33 small roof leaks and is now focused on cleaning the building’s air diffusers.
Source: Stamford Advocate