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    Roof Replacement Update
    Posted on: 10/14/2019

    Dear Firebird families and staff:

    Progress continues on Phase 1 of the roof replacement project at Rising Star Elementary School at the African American Academy. Exterior construction activities include replacing roofing materials on the west-facing slope of the north classroom wing. Wayne’s Roofing has approximately two good-weather days of work remaining to have the roof assembly system complete on the west side of the north wing. This work will take place during non-class instruction hours and potentially on weekends. Additionally, work is scheduled to begin on the east-facing slope of the north classroom wing.

    Progress also continues on the interior construction, which has allowed the first block of classrooms nearest the main stairwell north of the library to be reoccupied. These classrooms have had the air quality tested, and district facilities staff have performed various other tests to verify that the mechanical, electrical, lighting, and other systems are working correctly. Furniture and equipment are being returned to these classrooms. We expect to be able to re-occupy the remaining classrooms of the north wing in mid-November 2019 as previously reported.

    We are aware that some exhaust-emitting equipment was utilized to stock material on the roof that created an indoor air quality issue for building staff and students. This generated numerous occupant and parent concerns and complaints. Capital Projects and Planning staff worked with the contractor to identify and have the suspected exhaust emitting equipment removed from the school site. In addition, Capital Projects and Planning hired an industrial hygienist firm, Rose Environmental, who conducted a walk-through air quality evaluation of north wing classroom areas on Oct. 9 and 11, and then collected samples for longer durations on October 10 and 11.

    Rose Environmental’s findings from the walk-through evaluation note that “the results of the tests were unremarkable; measurements of common indoor environmental parameters were generally within ranges recommended by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). Overall, indoor environmental quality conditions were comparable to other problem-free office buildings we have similarly evaluated.” They do note “odor thresholds for vehicle exhaust can be extremely low (in the parts per billion or “nanogram” range) due to the presence of trace sulfur-bearing compounds, aromatic hydrocarbons, and smoky/sooty particles. The occasional detection of diesel exhaust odors may cause concern, even when true concentrations of individual exhaust components are well below published safety limits.” Receipt of the findings from the longer duration samples collected are expected by Friday, October 18, 2019.

    Construction activities continue at Rising Star Elementary School at the African American Academy. If you have any questions regarding our Roof Replacement project or student, staff or community safety, please contact Mark Emelko,, our capital project manager, or me directly.

    Thanks again for your patience as we complete this project.

    Principal Huyen Lam
    Rising Star/Van Asselt AAA