New contractor hired to conduct IAQ, radon tests at Miller-Driscoll

The Board of Education voted on Tuesday to hire TRC Environmental to complete two indoor air quality (IAQ) tests at the Miller-Driscoll School by the final day of March.

Board Chairman Bruce Likly called a special meeting of the board at 8:15 a.m. Feb. 18 to discuss the possibility of hiring an independent contractor to conduct a full air quality review of Miller-Driscoll school, as well as a radon test at the site.

A radon test at Miller-Driscoll in November conducted by Cardno ATC was not accepted by state regulators. As compensation for the disallowed test, Cardno ATC will complete a new round of radon testing at Miller-Driscoll this week.

The step to engage in a full air quality review was taken after a group of Wilton residents, Parents for Responsible Education, questioned the safety of indoor air quality in Miller-Driscoll. That group also requested a second radon test, doubting the reliability of Cardno ATC.

Public schools director of facilities John Murphy told the board Tuesday morning he feels the school is safe, but welcomes the review of a third party.

“We don’t believe there is ongoing health or safety issues in the building based on an assessment of our investigations into the building. But, that being said, I think bringing in a third party … is the prudent thing to do,” he said.

TRC Environmental, a Windsor-based firm, has a track record of success measuring air quality for a number of institutions, Mr. Murphy said.

Superintendent of Schools Gary Richards said the firm would begin its tests by the first week of March and they would be completed by month’s end.

“There will be an indoor air quality assessment and analysis of all occupied rooms,” he said. “The analysis will include temperature, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, particulates, humidity, and microbial samples.

“The second analysis will allow [the release of] complete information on occupied spaces in Miller-Driscoll,” he said later.

TRC Environmental will be on-site for three school days to conduct the IAQ test, which will cost $16,550. A written report on the company’s findings will be released following the “completion of lab work,” Dr. Richards said.

He also said the third radon test — the one being conducted by TRC Environmental — will give the town a third data set consistent with all state requirements. The cost of this retesting will be $5,040.