Mold Update: October 2019

Mold Update: October 2019
Posted on 10/10/2019
Dear Peabody Community:

I requested an update from the District about the mold mitigation and updates to the internal cooling system in our building. Here are precisely their responses:

From Frank Geary, Large Building Project Manager:

As part of the School Department’s response to mold issues summer of 2018, the District authorized funding of a study of the Peabody's exterior envelope in this year’s fiscal budget. The budget was provided July 1, 2019. The project was then bid and a contract awarded in July/August, 2019. Russo-Barr & Associates was the successful vendor.

We have requested the successful vendor get started and they have provided the following dates.

Wednesday 10-9-19: Test windows for air leakage. Infrared testing of exterior wall. Based on results of this testing they will identify two classrooms to pressure test the week of 10-21-19.

Week of 10-21-19: Using a fan to pressurize selected classroom(s) together with a theatrical fog machine the testers will pressurize the classroom and look for air leakage along exterior wall. This work will be done in the evening after school.

They will notify Cambridge Fire Department to advise them of the "smoke" people may see is theatrical fog.

A representative of Cambridge Public Schools will be in the building anytime Russo-Barr or its testing consultants are present.

Once they identify the classrooms to be tested, we will advise you so staff will be aware that an outside vendor will be in there classroom one evening. No furniture needs to be moved. All materials can stay in place. There is no odor or irritants in the theatrical fog. We have asked for a safety data sheet for the fog producing equipment, we will forward prior to any testing.

After the testing is complete they have promised a report in late November. This report will address air leakage thru the exterior envelope of Peabody. We will of course share the report.

Please advise any questions or additional info you may need to advise staff of testing.


Frank Geary

From Vedad Konjic, Director of Facilities:

I believe some dehumidifiers were removed 3-4 weeks ago as they were in error and needed service, after running for 3 months. Others were removed about 10 days ago as weather got colder and humidity decreased. We will be turning the heat on this week or next week, if we have not already.

Keep in mind that humidity is a factor when surfaces it surrounds are much colder and can condensate.

This Wednesday we are conducting testing of building envelope to determine the scope of work for improvements to take place next summer.

House doctor is working on specifications for the new chiller. I need to look at their timeline but I believe it should go out to bid within a month. Bid process and project award usually takes 4-6 weeks. After contract is awarded, chiller will be ordered and installed for next cooling season. Frank can elaborate on this further.

After bidding for the second time, we may have a service contract in place soon. We plan to get more insulation replaced around valves and controls, as these are vulnerable spots that can condensate.

If all goes as planed, we hope to start this work over December and February breaks.

Please let me know if you have any questions. We will have these letters added to our website for everyone’s information.

Thank you.

Jennifer Ford
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