Franklin Schools weighing options for students after receiving environmental testing results

Webb Elementary

FRANKLIN, Ind. – Franklin Community Schools says it has gotten preliminary data back over testing that was recently done for possible air contaminants at two elementary schools.

In a statement issued Thursday evening, the district said it’s making final decisions regarding the educational options for the students at Needham and Webb Elementary, who were kept home last Thursday before starting spring break because of high levels of the chemical compound TCE found at the schools.

TCE is a toxic chemical with human health concerns, according to the U.S. EPA.

“FCS understands that parents and the community are eager to learn the results of the sampling, as well as next steps,” the district wrote. “That information will be shared as soon as possible.”

The school corporation has been partnering with the company EnviroForensics to conduct the testing after nearby contamination concerns. Earlier this month, they took vapor samples from beneath the concrete floors, following up on testing done over the summer. Last week, the company revealed testing results from the vapor samples taken earlier this month.

EnviroForensics said the conservative sub-slab vapor screening level for TCE is 70 micrograms per cubic meter for a residential occupancy scenario.  At Needham Elementary, 2 out of 10 samples tested above that at 96.2 and 100 micrograms per cubic meter. At Webb Elementary 3 out of 7 samples tested above the screening level at 225, 242 and 849 micrograms per cubic meter.

Enviroforensics then planned to conduct indoor air sampling this week, while students in the district were on spring break. It’s still unclear if or when students will return to Needham and Webb. FOX59 will keep you updated when administrators announce a decision.

Below is the district’s full statement:

“Thank you for your patience as Franklin Community Schools continues to work through this process. Late this afternoon, we received preliminary data from EnviroForensics. In consultation with EnviroForensics and other agencies, we are making final decisions regarding the educational options for the students at Needham and Webb Elementary. FCS understands that parents and the community are eager to learn the results of the sampling, as well as next steps. That information will be shared as soon as possible.”

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