School Project Making Students Sick

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SAINT CLAIR -- Nearly 600 students study at Saint Clair Elementary/Middle School in Schuylkill County. All around them, but separated by walls, $11 million dollars worth of renovations are underway. School officials say the added space is needed for a growing population.

But some parents are convinced the dirt and dust is affecting their children's health.

"My son has been complaining about stuffiness, sore throat, things like that respiratory problems and he's usually never sick," said parent Dawn Williams.

"They're having challenges with their breathing and we can't tell if it's the cold or the dust and dirt and they're not usually susceptible to allergies or cold or anything like that," said Tammy Gibson, a parent.

But school officials insist the school is safe.

"The first day of school we did an dust and mold test and we didn't have any issues with that (edit) we're wet mopping and cleaning walls and desks throughout the day in any problem areas," said school superintendent Kendy Hinkel.

Some parents say there has to be a better way to construct the school.

"The school board and whoever is responsible for this construction should have thought better on this construction. All that dust and dirt is traveling through the school no matter what you do to try and prevent it from traveling."

"No one has come directly to me and tell me of health issues. I monitor this through our attendance and nurses office and i am not seeing trends at this point," said Hinkel.

The superintendent of schools says the construction project will go into next year and if parents have any concerns they should give her a call.