BIDDEFORD – The School Committee has decided to have another company assess air quality and safety at Biddeford High School, Superintendent Sarah-Jane Poli said Wednesday.

Tuesday night’s decision followed an assessment of the school by a Maine Bureau of General Services engineering technician and testing by Air Quality Management.

Concerns about the air quality in the high school arose last month when two students had severe allergic reactions to mold, which prompted the closure of three classrooms. The rooms were reopened after a thorough cleaning, and subsequent testing showed low mold spore counts.

Parents raised concerns to the School Committee and the City Council regarding safety and increased dust during a school renovation project that is in the third of nine phases, Poli said. Construction is expected to be completed by Ledgewood Construction Co. in August 2012, she said.

Engineering technician Larry Mare walked through the high school on Friday with Poli; Phil Radding, the school facilities director; Randy Geoggrey and Nick Ferrala of Air Quality Management; Scott Clark of Ledgewood Construction; and Brian Phinney, Biddeford’s environmental control officer.

In his report to Poli, Mare indicated that the school is considered in good standing by state standards. He recommended that the custodial staff keep up with cleaning, including behind the shelves where heating elements are located.

Despite Mare’s review, the School Committee requested that another company test the air quality, Poli said. She said she is looking for another company and hopes to have another round of tests completed soon.

Staff Writer Emma Bouthillette can be contacted at 791-6325 or at:

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