Miller-Driscoll: Portable classrooms near completion

Monday, Dec. 14 is the move-in date for students and teachers who will be relocating into portable classrooms while renovation of the Miller-Driscoll School is underway.

At the Miller-Driscoll Building Committee’s Dec. 8 meeting, Turner’s senior project manager for the Miller-Driscoll School Project Michael Douyard gave a brief rundown of recent developments pertaining to the classrooms.

“The portables will be functional starting Monday,” he said.

According to Douyard, the certificate of occupancy necessary for the move was granted by Wilton’s building inspector on Dec. 8, though the official has conditioned his approval on a number of things.

One of these is the installation of a railing outside one of the modules. Turner has placed a “temporary orange fence” on the ramp for time being to deal with the drop off until prices for the addition of a railing can be negotiated.

It was also stipulated that the classrooms’ exterior lights need different lenses to properly diffuse their output.

An indoor air quality report was conducted and completed as part of Wilton’s planning and zoning process, Douyard said.

Committee chair Bruce Hampson explained that hygienists from TRC, a national engineering, consulting and construction management firm, tested for carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, particulates, volatile organic compounds, and radon.

“The results were that all of those aspects were well within any kinds of limits for healthy occupancy,” Hampson said.

He did note, however, that the tests revealed trace levels of carbon monoxide in the portable classrooms, levels he stressed were simply detectable, and not at all harmful, urging people not to worry.

Even though the carbon monoxide levels in the classrooms are within suitable limits, Hampson explained, TRC recommended a just-incase-follow-up to determine the source of the pollutant, negligible though its presence may be.

“It could come from an internal combustion engine, or it could come from one of our boilers,” Hampson said. He and the building committee want to ensure that the latter isn’t the case.

“The tests were made in the morning, when the busses and parents were queuing,” Hampson expanded.

TRC believes that the carbon monoxide detected was emitted from engines idling in student pick-up lines, Hampson noting that there was a higher concentration of the compound in the ambient space outside the modules.

On Dec. 9 TRC was scheduled to perform two tests, Douyard said at the Dec. 8 meeting, one while the vehicles were queuing and another when they were not.