Construction at Glenmary School in Peace River can resume after a stop work order on its modernization was put into place Monday. The school had to be evacuated after a piece of construction machinery was blowing exhaust fumes through the school’s air vents.
Holy Family Catholic Regional Division Superintendent Betty Turpin says the contractor Jen-Col Construction tried unsuccessfully to contain the fumes, and two students had to be treated for respiratory concerns. The Peace River Fire Department did not detect any carbon monoxide in the air, and since there was no smoke, the fire alarms did not go off.
Jen-Col Construction Safety Manager Scott Duncan and a representative from Alberta Occupational Health and Safety were on site to conduct an inspection. They came up with a number of corrective actions needed, including increasing air quality monitoring for oxygen, hydrogen sulfide, and carbon monoxide.
“Student and staff safety will always be our highest priority,” says Turpin. “We are very grateful for the many supports we received. We are confident that the corrective actions now in place will greatly reduce air quality concerns moving forward.”
The contractor also needed to install a four foot fan in the construction area suck air from the school into it and push construction air outdoors. All work involving combustion engines need to happen outside of regular school hours, and all current work was reportedly finished Tuesday night.