Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Firms to check air at Summit

By Jennifer Edwards
The Cincinnati Enquirer

HYDE PARK - Two firms have been hired to monitor the air quality and environmental conditions in the main building at Summit Country Day School that partially collapsed in January.

photo gallery
Photo archive of Summit collapse
"As a result of the collapse, there is a large amount of dust and debris throughout the east wing and the main building," Headmaster Joseph T. Devlin told parents in a newsletter.

The collapse occurred during a $10.5 million construction project for a new lower school.

Devlin did not return calls Monday, but school spokeswoman Jennifer Pierson said there was nothing out of the ordinary about the environmental work.

"It is just really routine cleanup work," she said. "As you can imagine, things are pretty dusty after a portion of the building fell. Clearly, that circulated through the building."

Summit has hired Environmental Quality Management Inc. of Forest Park. The company is a member of the World Trade Center Advisory Committee and has worked on the recovery following the loss of the space shuttle Columbia, Devlin's letter said.

Cleanup has begun and is expected to take several weeks in preparation for administrative staff members returning to their offices later this month or early April, according to Devlin's letter.

Carpeting also is being replaced in corridors. The historic chapel is being refinished in time to hold first communion and graduation there this spring, he wrote.

The new lower school still is expected to open this fall as scheduled, Pierson said Monday, despite a more than two-month construction delay following the collapse. .

No one was hurt in the Jan. 18 collapse because the 1,100-student school was closed. School reopened in late January, with preschool, kindergarten and high school students attending classes off-campus. First- through eighth-graders returned to class in areas separate from the main building.

An investigation into the cause of the collapse continues.


E-mail jedwards@enquirer.com

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