• News Release: Results of District Heights Elementary Indoor Air Quality Test Released

    April 6, 2017
    For Immediate Release
    Office of Communications


    UPPER MARLBORO, MD – Ten areas in District Heights Elementary School that were tested last week for air quality did not show significant evidence of toxic mold in the building, but indicated inadequate air supply to some classrooms.

    Elkridge-based Tidewater, Inc., an independent vendor, conducted an indoor air quality assessment March 30 and March 31 to establish baseline measurements. The areas tested included two offices, six classrooms, media room and storage room.

    While there are no federal or state standards for mold spores, indoor counts should generally be lower than those found outdoors.

    According to the results, the total indoor mold spore counts at District Heights ranged from 130 to 1,250 spores per cubic meter; the outdoor mold spore count was 990. All but one classroom area were well below the outdoor count. The classroom with the marginally elevated – but not toxic – mold spore count was relocated as a precaution.

    The report stated, “The spore trap air sample (non-viable) results do not indicate the presence of a significant indoor source of fungal contamination that would adversely affect indoor air quality within the assessed areas of the building.”

    Results from a dust analysis conducted as part of the assessment were also found to be below federal guidelines.

    A second indoor air quality assessment began Wednesday on the entire building.

    Tidewater recommended the following steps based on its findings:

    • Replace all water-stained ceiling tiles in the main office, storage room and one classroom.

    • Ensure the HVAC system is properly maintained to provide adequate ventilation throughout the building.

    • Adjust the HVAC system to improve the air supply to four classrooms and the media room.

    Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) Building Services staff found inadequate ventilation throughout the school due to several inoperable exhaust fans and low-functioning HVAC units. Work has been underway to repair and replace those items:

    • 23 out of 25 exhaust fans have been repaired.

    • 11 out of 26 classroom unit ventilators have been cleaned and serviced.

    • Air filters have been cleaned and replaced.

    • Ventilation system undergoing a check and cleaning to increase airflow.

    In addition, plans have been expedited for a capital improvement project this summer to replace rooftop HVAC units and chillers. That work will now begin in late April with a target June completion date.

    Visit www.pgcps.org/district-heights-analysis to view the 15-page report. A timeline of additional air quality improvements with projected completion dates is below. A plan to replace the ceiling tiles identified in the air quality report is forthcoming.

    District Heights Elementary School Air Quality Improvements Timeline

    Projected Completion Dates

    Work completed by April 7

    • Heat Pumps – Modular Addition: Six heat pumps in classrooms 19, 20, and 21 to be installed

    Work completed by April 10

    • Indoor Air Quality Assessment: Results from entire building expected

    Work completed by April 13

    • Classroom Unit Ventilators: 15 ventilators to be serviced after school hours

    • Roof Top Units (RTUs): Two newest units to be serviced and cleaned

    • Air Handler – Cafeteria: Serviced and cleaned

    Work completed by April 26

    • Roof Top Units (RTUs): Third RTU to be installed (expedited Capital Improvement Program project)

    Work completed by May 15

    • Classroom Temperature Controls: All controls to be replaced

    • Air Handler – Cafeteria Controls: All controls to be replaced      

    May-June 2017

    • Roof Top Units (RTUs): Replace fourth RTU (currently operating, but past life cycle)

    • Chiller Replacement: Two new chillers to be installed; one is currently operating. (expedited Capital Improvement Program project)

    Summer 2017

    • Drywall – Modular Addition: Repair source of water infiltration

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    Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS), one of the nation's 25 largest school districts, has 208 schools and centers, more than 130,000 students and nearly 19,000 employees. The school system serves a diverse student population from urban, suburban and rural communities located in the Washington, DC suburbs. PGCPS is nationally recognized for innovative programs and initiatives that provide students with unique learning opportunities, including arts integration, environmental and financial literacy, and language immersion.