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School Ventilation Project Launched

Hallway ceilings at Kings Highway Elementary School in Westport were removed this summer as part of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning overhaul, Assistant Superintendent of Business Nancy Harris told the Board of Education Monday night.

This means piping and wires are exposed, Harris said, and will remain that way for the next two years to allow "ease of design and ease of access," Harris said.

While exposed piping and wiring is not attractive, Harris said it poses no risks to students, faculty and staff. In fact, "everything is safe and healthy" at Kings Highway, she said.

"When we tore down all the ceilings, we did it under negative air pressure," Harris said. "We didn't want any dust migrating anywhere."

Additionally, Harris said all the piping was wiped down with wet rags, special vacuums were used and more smoke detectors were installed.

Work on the project is expected to take place over the next two summers, bringing it to completion for the fall 2012 year.

The project is "pretty well on schedule," Harris said, though it's too early for budgeting as design development is not complete.

Harris said Consulting Engineering Services, Inc. is two-thirds finished with design work. "We're working through a variety of questions and issues," she said, adding that a contract for the project should be awarded by the end of December."

The work includes a system that will heat and cool the building, including the gym and auditorium, while controlling humidity and carbon dioxide levels.

For more information, parents can visit the school's website, where a project link is available.

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