Officials at Colorado Springs School District 11 aren't saying how long it's been since the ventilation equipment at Doherty High School was cleaned, but they're sure to be cleaned now.
The school has been basically closed since May 11 when two fires broke out, and testing in the buildings has revealed "higher levels than normal for ash, soot and carbon in certain areas of the building," D-11 spokeswoman Devra Ashby says via email.
Those areas have been closed off to students and staff, she said, and D-11 facilities workers are cleaning and further testing vents and ducts, a process that will take several more weeks.
Rules and regulations governing schools in Colorado include this requirement: "Ventilation system filters shall be cleaned or replaced regularly to prevent excessive accumulation of dust or debris."
As other media has previously reported, a piece of wood was found smoldering in an art room and a short time later a dryer in the laundry room was found on fire.
For information on how students are finishing out the year, including graduation, go to this link
The District has tested several areas throughout the building to determine the extent of potential contamination from the two events last week. Although several samples came back Œpositive¹ for higher levels of ash, carbon, and/or soot, the information was inconclusive. To avoid any potential issues, the D11 facilities provided two independent ventilation systems to accommodate the scheduled activities for the last two weeks of school.
To develop a more comprehensive clean-up plan, the District is pulling and testing more samples throughout the building. This testing and analysis process will probably continue over the next 2-3 weeks. Based on this information, we will work with the D11 procurement team to develop a competitive bid package to properly clean the impacted areas.
Doherty, 4515 Barnes Road, was built in 1976.