COBBLE HILL — The PTA of P.S.29 is bringing in medical experts from Mount Sinai School of Medicine’s Pediatric Environmental Health Speciality Unit to clear the air of questions and concerns regarding students’ health and indoor air quality.
The school at 429 Henry St. is undergoing an 18-month renovation that includes repairs to a leaky roof and absbestos removal that has parents demanding more information on potential health risks.
“We called them [Mount Sinai] in to get a medical perspective on the whole construction issue,” said Rhonda Keyser, a parent and a member of the PTA's Health Committee at the school. “The School Construction Authority keeps telling us that it’s safe, but how did they arrive at that decision? We wanted something more tangible.”
According to Keyser, the biggest concern among parents is dust. Although brick demolition, which produces the most dust, is completed, there are other phases of construction that may introduce other health risks, said Keyser. For instance, there is still roof demolition that will take place during the school year, and that deals with tar, Keyser said.
The SCA, however, has agreed to push the “raking” aspect of construction, which involves prepping for brick installation, until the summer when kids are out of school.
The meeting is open to all parents of students at P.S. 29, and will take place on May 24, in the auditorium, after the children are dropped off. The school’s health committee has also invited an industrial hygienist from Mount Sinai to speak specifically about air quality.
The renovation project on the 91-year-old school is part of the Department of Education’s five-year Capital Plan.
Asbestos removal, which began last month, is still ongoing and has been a concern to some parents. In reaction, school administration meets with the SCA regularly to ensure that proper health precautions are taking place.
Construction work at the school does not begin until 3:30 p.m., when school is let out. Asbestos abatement commences daily at 6 p.m., and the construction crew begins clean up of dust and debris every night at 11 p.m.