Cancer-causing carcinogens lead to air-handling changes in Franklin school

Vapor mitigation systems installed at 2 elementary schools in Franklin, Indiana

FRANKLIN, Ind. (WISH) — Franklin Community Schools showed the media the air-quality systems going in at two elementary schools on Monday.

Environmental testing at Webb and Needham elementaries detected cancer-causing carcinogens underneath the schools earlier this year. To make sure the schools stay safe, the district is installing depressurization systems.

Here’s how they work: A pipe is installed in the ground at multiple points under the school. A fan pulls any vapors from the ground to the roof so nothing would affect air quality inside the school.

A district official says the last three tests done at both schools came back clear of any toxins. 

Jeff Sewell, director of operations for the Johnson County school district, said, “The installation of these systems just gives us that added bit of confidence that 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 of no concern.” 

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The new systems are set to be up and running by mid-July. 

The district plans to do one more test at both schools closer to the beginning of the new school year.