BIDDEFORD — The latest air quality tests at Biddeford High School show there are no elevated mold levels, school officials learned Tuesday.

The air quality at the school, which is under renovation, has been in question since two students were hospitalized in November with what was described as an allergic reaction. Parents also raised concerns that dust from the current renovation project was affecting students’ health.

School officials hired Turner Building Science & Design, LLC, of Harrison to conduct air quality tests. In a report presented to the School Committee, diagnostic air quality testing in 20 rooms in the high school showed no elevated mold levels.

Initial tests done earlier this school year by Lewiston-based Air Quality Management Services found poor air quality in three classrooms. The rooms were sealed off briefly, thoroughly cleaned and reopened.

At the insistence of parents, the committee hired Turner Building Science & Design for a second opinion. In early March, the committee decided to follow Turner’s initial recommendations and spend as much as $39,000 for further air quality testing.

The final report presented Tuesday listed 10 recommendations for the school, which includes plans for moisture control and rapidly drying out areas that may get wet, ways for students and staff to report concerns, ongoing maintenance of the heating and ventilation systems, regular cleaning with low-toxicity cleaning products as well as training for correct use of those products, maintaining tidy storage areas, restricting potted plants and implementing the city’s indoor air-quality construction control plan for the renovation project.

When asked by School Committee member Anthony Michaud if testing should be done when students return to school in September, Turner said it shouldn’t be necessary if the school takes proactive efforts to clean classrooms and contain construction.

“I have no reason to believe if the school district follows recommendations that it would be any different come fall,” he said.

Links to the full report from Turner Building Science & Design can be found on the district’s web site, www.biddschools.org.

Superintendent Sarah-Jane Poli said the renovation project will continue through the summer. She expects the project to be completed by August 2012.

 

Staff Writer Emma Bouthillette can be contacted at 791-6325 or at: [email protected]