Filmed December 27th, 2017 (YouTube link)
Written by Jeff Epstein, editor, Citizens’ Media TV
Citizens’ Media TV was given a tour of Pinelands Regional High School by the president of Synatech Inc., Todd Nugent. Synatech, an environmental remediation firm, was awarded the contract by the district to do the final cleanup and preparations for students’ return to the high school building on January 8th. Nugent is also an alumnus of the district and parent of two high school students.
For three months, all high school and junior high school students were crammed into the junior high school, on a half-day, “split session” schedule. Half of the day’s instruction was in person, the other half on the internet. This unusual situation is a result of a mismanaged roofing replacement project that was supposed to end on September 1st, but still has yet to be officially completed. (Here is Citizens’ Media TV’s full coverage of the story.)
What has dramatically increased anxiety among parents and community members, is that the district’s environmental consultant urgently recommended that “rooftop activities cease immediately.” This recommendation was written in a letter dated September 10th, after students were in school only two days. However, the letter was not discovered by parents, or even the majority of elected Board of Education members, until October 3rd – after students and staff were exposed to contaminants for three full weeks, as construction continued unabated.
As demonstrated in the above video, Nugent walks through the entire cleaning process, including dust and debris, cleaning out the ventilation systems (HVAC) ductwork, and also replacing cracked asbestos tiles and mold ceiling tiles.
The cleanup by Synatech is due to be completed on January 5th. Students’ first day of class in the refurbished high school building is scheduled for January 8th. This date provides a one week buffer from the “drop dead” date of January 15th. At that point, in order to conform to federal and state regulations, and also to not conflict with existing summer schedules (of both the district and students), more drastic steps and logistical matters would need to be taken.
|This video (including travel, filming, editing, and post production) took 12.5 hours of effort. Please support independent journalism. Financially contribute to Citizens’ Media TV.|