Franklin Schools install vaporization systems to alleviate concerns

Franklin Community Schools is installing vapor mitigation systems at Webb and Needham Elementary schools to keep dangerous vapors away. (WTHR)
Franklin Mitigation System Installation
Vaporization systems installed
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FRANKLIN, Ind. (WTHR) — Franklin Community Schools is installing vapor mitigation systems at Webb and Needham Elementary schools to keep dangerous vapors away from students and alleviate parents’ worries.

Back in March both schools were shutdown after high levels of TCE, a cancer-causing chemical, were detected under the floors of classrooms.

Franklin Community Schools have installed vaporization systems in its classrooms. (WTHR)
Franklin Community Schools have installed vaporization systems in its classrooms of two elementary schools. (WTHR)

13 Investigates got a firsthand look at the new system in the Webb building Monday, where the sub-slab results were the most troubling.

Two first-grade classrooms there had levels well over the state’s safe screening level.

Follow-up testing in April and May showed no toxins in the air. But as promised, the school district decided to put in the vapor systems as a safeguard.

Fifteen extraction pipes were installed at Webb including one in the cafeteria. Four fans throughout the building will create a vacuum and draw out the air underground.

At Needham, 14-extraction points and seven fans will filter the underground air. Both systems will push the air out onto the rooftop, where it’s expected to safely dissipate.

Jeff Sewell, Franklin Community Schools operations director. (WTHR)
Jeff Sewell, Franklin Community Schools operations director. (WTHR)

"All of it to ensure safety for students and staff," said Jeff Sewell, FCS operations director.

“ The installation of these systems just gives that added confidence," Sewell said. "As things with the building could change over time, this system would account for that, and we can move forward with peace of mind and no concern."

The $469,000 systems also include an alarm that will notify the school of any operational problems.

Both schools are expected online by mid-July. FCS will conduct more testing to verify it’s all working properly.

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