Province says Souris Consolidated's radon fix complete
Parents question if building is really clear of radon
The province has hired a company to fix the radon problems at Souris Consolidated, but with just two weeks until school starts, some parents are still reluctant to consider the building cleared.
Higher than normal levels of radon were found in the school in May.
"The lunchroom … it was detected at 368 becquerels," said Shelley Keenan, who has a daughter at Souris Consolidated and a son starting there this fall.
She had thought about pulling them out of the school if radon levels weren't corrected.
"The other room was tested at 588 becquerels. The recommended level by Health Canada is 200 becquerels at the highest," Keenan said.
Environmental teams have been working to bring those levels down and, for now, that has put her mind at ease.
The province says the fixes are complete.
"They put a hole in the floor in a number of predetermined locations, create a vacuum under the floor slab of the school and that's where the radon is collected and then it's evacuated by a fan up through the roof," said Allan Maynard, director of Public Works and Planning, Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.
Maynard says the initial testing is being done now, and they don't anticipate any problems.
"At this point I have every confidence that we've solved the radon problem with the equipment we've installed," Maynard said.
Education Minister Allan MacIsaac says they'll keep watching levels to keep them in check.
"We had group of experts come in from out of province to check those and to continually monitor and we will continue to do that," MacIsaac said.
But Keenan says as things stand, her children will spend four months in class before she knows whether the fix worked.
"The most effective testing done is over a three month period, during the winter months when the building is closed up, and the radon levels would be at their peak, so we really won’t know until January or so when the results come back if it's effective or not," she said.
The initial test results are expected within a week.
The province plans to complete renovations on the high school by 2014 to make way for all the students at Souris Consolidated.