SUMMERSIDE — Staff and students at Summerside’s Parkside Elementary School are breathing a little easier this week.
© Journal Pioneer Photo
Parkside Elementary School
The installation of six air-exchange units was completed over the weekend and the units are now operational, said the English Language School Board’s director of corporate services Dave Gillis.
The units had initially been scheduled to be installed over the Christmas break but two delays pushed back their installation to last weekend.
“Testing and all that was done and everything was great so they were fully functional on Monday when students landed,” Gillis said Tuesday. “Everything seems like it is working wonderfully well.”
Air quality tests conducted in January 2012 revealed high levels of carbon dioxide at the city school. Since, staff has been ‘flushing’ — opening windows and doors — several times a day to allow in fresh air.
Class sizes in areas where there were no air exchangers were reduced.
The installation of the six electrical air-exchange units came with an estimated price tag of $120,000, far less than the $750,000 cost of a larger air-handling system that would have eliminated air-quality issues at the school.
After analysis by the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal it was determined that the school’s aging electrical system could be modified to accommodate the more economical and smaller air-exchange units.
Gillis said air-quality testing would be done at the school in the coming days, once the units have been operational for a few days.
The six units have been strategically placed in problematic areas of the school.
Gillis said there are areas of the school that don’t have units located in classrooms but, he added, considering how the units are placed there should be “no more opening and closing windows.”
Gillis couldn’t say if there were any cost overruns incurred with the delays in installing the units. The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal is paying the costs associated with the work.