The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, March 30, 2001


Flannery gives update on school air quality, water and ADA compliance

Mystified by these combinations of letters coming from the Carlisle SchoolIAQ, ADA? The solution can be found with David Flannery, the Carlisle Public Schools supervisor of building and grounds, who reported on his activities at the March 30 school committee meeting.

Since 1997, Flannery has been monitoring the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) of the entire school complex. To prevent problems with the air quality in the classrooms he has provided information on toxic supplies and safe materials to the teachers and tracked the various activities within the buildings.

He has monitored, cleaned and disinfected the Spalding Building ventilation system and supply ductwork, the Robbins Building roof-top ventilation units, duct work and air conditioning, and the Wilkins Building ductwork. He has a grant to monitor the carbon dioxide levels in the classrooms to improve the ventilation and is also in the process of trying to complete the placement of screens on all the windows of the school buildings.

Last year, trace levels of lead were detected in the water from several of the brass faucets in the bathrooms of the Grant, Highland and Brick Buildings. Although the levels are extremely low and near the acceptable standard (the Environmental Protection Agency action level is 0.015 milligrams per liter), Flannery said he reported the finding to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). It has been determined that the trace amounts of lead come from the fixtures and are not in the water from the school well.

Flannery said the plumbing fixtures have been replaced according to federal regulations. The DEP also requires that the water systems of the buildings be tested twice a year to ensure that the quality of the drinking water continues to be safe.

Complying with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a consideration for all the public buildings in town said Flannery. In 1992 the Carlisle Board of Selectmen appointed a committee to develop a plan so that the public buildings in the community would become accessible to all individuals.

Flannery said the plan lists ten to twelve improvements to the buildings in the school complex. He went on to say that occasionally individual student needs have presented themselves and the needs must be addressed. Once that happens he is able to "return to work on the main list of the ADA town plan."

He reported that the Corey Building complies with the ADA standards. The Robbins Building now has a mechanical entry door. There is a special drinking fountain in the Spalding Building. Other school needs include improvements to toilet facilities, the play structure, door hardware, signage, curb leveling and hall railings.

Flannery concluded, "For the schools there are regulations on insects and rodents and water standards but there is no regulation on air quality at this time." He expects this will change. He began to test the quality of the air during the construction and renovations of the Robbins Building.

School committee member Cindy Nock thanked Flannery. "You save us in the long run. The job has grown tremendously and you manage to keep up with all the problems and regulations."

2001 The Carlisle Mosquito