.by Anura Guruge
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In February and March, with the divisive ‘$18 M’ school renovation bond as the lightning rod, I was perturbed to hear and read various accounts about the ‘poor’ air quality issues at Alton Central School (ACS) — especially as I have an asthmatic (on inhaler) 1st Grader attending ACS.
But, I had to get the election of the new pope out of the way before I could devote any reasonable bandwidth to this air quality issue.
Now that I have a tad more bandwidth (though I am heads down working on another book), I gave this air quality issue some thought and even contacted some ‘important people’ — Deanna in the meantime writing to the Superintendent to find out what testing had been done, when, by whom and the outcome of the results.
I look at air quality through the prism of my corporate background. While, of course, there are numerous shades of gray, in the end, at least in my mind, air quality of a building ends up being a binary issue — no different to that easy to follow adage about pregnancy. You are either pregnant or you are not. To me air quality boils down to that.
So what is the real story at ACS?
And the funny thing is that when it comes to ACS and air quality, we can, ironically, even forget the kids! We can just focus on the teachers, administrators and support staff. ACS, in addition to being a school, is also a workplace governed by all the policies and laws that apply to any other workplace with (say) 20 employees or more.
So does ACS air quality meet OSHA requirements for a workplace? I don’t know, but I assume that somebody in Alton knows.
Yes, Deanna is trying to get to the bottom of this and she will be paying (another) visit to the SAU office soon — to pick up a copy of the latest air quality testing.
Yes, I have spoken to some people in Concord, the Alton Town Hall as well as somebody who knows the laws. IF the air quality is unacceptable, the way I see it, screw the bond or lack thereof. If the air quality at ACS is indeed below par, the school needs to be shut down! Simple as that. Am I getting something wrong here? You can’t have staff and kids KNOWINGLY exposed to unacceptable air quality levels. Can you? You never know.
So, where do we stand on the air quality?
We are trying to find out.