Mars Elementary duct work cleaning to address odor

November 7, 2018 Cranberry Local News

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Duct work cleaning was to begin last week to address a lingering odor at Mars Elementary School in Adams Township.

In a posting on the district's website Oct. 29, officials said Air Duct Maintenance Inc. will perform the work starting Wednesday. Work will begin each day at about 4:45 p.m. and will also take place on weekends while students are not in class.

The work will be completed, “on or before Saturday, Nov. 24,” the post states.

The cleaning was recommended following two rounds of air quality testing that were ordered due to a musty smell being reported by students and staff at the building. Abatement work was conducted in the penthouse areas of the building, and a first round of testing found mold levels in the building to be lower than those outside, officials said.

Additional testing by Accredited Environmental Technologies conducted Oct. 2 found no immediate issues, though based on an observation of damp insulation within the air handling units, the smell was being found in the classrooms. The firm recommended that duct work in the building be cleaned or replaced. Likewise, damaged tile should be replaced, and relative humidity levels in classrooms should be kept below 60 percent, the report states.

On Tuesday Superintendent Wesley Shipley said there have been no reports of a smell since Oct. 2, and the duct cleaning is part of the overall process of addressing issues.

Additionally, Shipley said, air tests have been completed in other district buildings, though results have yet to be returned.

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