Parents Concerned About Construction at School

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JERSEY SHORE -- Some parents in one part of Lycoming County are concerned for their children's safety after an incident at Jersey Shore Area Elementary School.

Three teachers were hurt when construction materials flew through a window.

School is back in session at Jersey Shore Area Elementary School. Work is being done to modernize the building, but district officials say on Thursday morning something went wrong.

Construction crews tore off a section of the roof. While doing so, fiberglass materials went through a window and hurt three teachers. The superintendent says they were treated by their personal doctors.

"It was a major safety concern to all here. That should not have occurred. The tearing off of the roof should not have occurred while anyone was here inside the building," superintendent Rich Emery said.

Jersey Shore Area Superintendent Rich Emery says students were in a different area of the building. Even so, many parents are concerned.

"You have to stop and think, 'oh my gosh, is my child safe? Is his health safe?' You know what I mean? The fourth day of school and look what's going on already," Nicole Welshans said.

This mom kept her 6-year-old son home from school the day after the incident.

"Until I know the air is clean, I just feel like it's important that he not be there. I don't want anything to happen to him," Cecilia Klimitchev said.

Emery says the school recently had two air quality checks. The first one was done in August and passed. The second one was done this week after the incident. Those results are not back yet.

District officials say Jersey Shore Elementary will be under construction for the entire school year. Some parents say they are worried about the condition of the school.

"There's unlocked doors to all the rooms where people are working and there is the smell of cigarette smoke in the hallways," Klimitchev said.

"On Monday we did find that some of the contractors were leaving doors propped open. We have addressed that and will continue to address that," Emery said.

Jersey Shore Area School District officials tell Newswatch 16 their first priority is the safety of students and staff. The superintendent says anyone with concerns can contact him or the elementary school's principal.

Construction is scheduled to wrap up next August.