Test shows substandard air quality at Huntington North

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HUNTINGTON, Ind. (WANE) — An air quality test conducted at Huntington North High School found high carbon dioxide and humidity.

A tarp can be seen hanging from the ceiling in a room in Huntington North High School.

The Huntington County Community School Corporation said Wednesday that the Indiana Department of Health conducted an indoor air quality evaluation at the high school on Oct. 1. The test came after two local physicians reported “concerns of respiratory-related health issues” in some Huntington North students they treated.

The air quality test found carbon dioxide levels far higher than the recommended limit. One room had a reading of 1984 parts CO2 per million parts of air, “well over” the allowed limit of 1063 ppm, the report said. The state said that studies had found that students score lower on exams while exposed to elevated levels of carbon dioxide.

Humidity levels in the school were also found to be between 67 percent and 77 percent. Elevated relative humidity can promote mold growth, and lead to “upper respiratory infections and to minimize the adverse effect on people suffering from asthma or allergies,” the report said.

Inspectors also found water leaks in the school building. In one room, a plastic tarp had been hung to direct water to tubs on the floor, the report said. Water stained ceiling tiles were noted in a March 2016 inspection, which suggests “an ongoing issue that has not been addressed.”

In a news release Wednesday, the school district said “the health and safety of HCCSC students and staff is always our number one priority.”

Huntington County Community School Corporation will put a referendum on the November ballot as it seeks $68 million to build a new high school building. WANE 15 will have more on that measure soon.

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