Julian Curtiss School (JCS) will reopen on Wednesday, January 8, 2014. Surface and airborne environmental testing conducted on Monday concluded that the school is safe for occupancy.
The school, at 180 E. Elm St., was closed Monday, Jan. 6 and Tuesday, Jan. 7 because of a ruptured coil in a radiator in classroom #27, which occurred over the weekend. The ruptured coil released water and steam into that classroom, which then leaked through to a first-grade classroom (#9) below. It also spread to the main office and the principal’s office adjacent to the first-floor classroom.
In its announcement released Tuesday afternoon, the school district also detailed cleanup plans, classroom and office relocations, and how the 343 students will make up the two days of lost classroom time.
Here is the district's announcement in its entirety:
Testing, Clean Up and Containment
The District facilities staff, along with the District’s contracted Environmental Hygienist, has worked since Monday morning on environmental cleaning and inspecting the extent of damage. As is standard, environmental testing was conducted for asbestos and mold spores. Air sample results received today have determined that the corridors and rooms adjoining the impacted classrooms (#9 and #27) are safe for re-occupancy by all students and staff.
Classrooms #9 and #27, and the main office will be isolated and contained until at least the Winter Recess, at which time asbestos and mold abatement where required will be done. Interim isolation and containment of the main office and classrooms #9 and #27 can be assured with HEPA negative pressure units and dehumidifiers. The equipment will be checked and maintained by our licensed abatement contractor. Periodic inspections of the isolation barriers and environmental testing will be conducted by our contracted Environmental Hygienist to verify safety. Our top priority will be the safety of all students and staff.
Abatement & Restoration Work
Abatement work is scheduled for the Winter Recess in February. Restoration work will be scheduled after the abatement is completed. The tentative timeframe is to have the restoration work completed by early March 2014. Depending on the extent of work required once abatement has occurred, the project completion date may be altered.
The affected classrooms will be secured, with access restricted and permitted only for authorized personnel. Signs will be clearly posted. Negative pressure will be created in the rooms with HEPA filters. Weekly air monitoring and visual inspections will occur for asbestos and mold for the duration of the project.
Students and staff will not return to these classrooms until the rooms have been tested and inspected and have been deemed safe for occupancy.
Classrooms and Office Relocated Within Building
The Principal’s Office will be used temporarily as the main office.
Classroom #27 (5th grade) will be relocated to classroom #29, displacing ESL instruction currently held in room #29. ESL staff will be located in the Media Center. Instruction for ESL students will take place in the classrooms and in the Media Center.
Classroom #9 (1st grade) will be relocated to classroom #19, displacing World Language teachers’ office space. The World Language teachers instruct in the grade level classrooms; their office space will be temporarily relocated to allocated space in the cafeteria.
Making Up Missed School Days
Students are required to complete 180 days of school before June 30, 2014. In addition to the two weather-related school closings this year that all schools must make up, Julian Curtiss School will need to make up 2 additional days due to the closures this week. The 2013-2014 School Calendar builds in five days for snow/storm make up days. If there are no further closures this year, then the four days that JCS must make up will come from the five days already built into the calendar. If additional closures are required and Julian Curtiss – or if all schools – exceed the five days built in, then, as the calendar states, the make-up days “…will be taken from either the remaining days in June or from the Spring Recess in April. Please plan accordingly.” The Superintendent and Principal McGuire will make the final decision on how lost schools days at Julian Curtiss will be made up, but they will confer with the GEA President and PTA Co-Presidents.