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District: Southampton school gym closed after lead found

In a statement, Southampton schools Superindent Nicholas Dyno,

In a statement, Southampton schools Superindent Nicholas Dyno, above in 2016, said Southampton Intermediate School's gym is expected to be clean by Oct. 29, 2017, after lead was found in gym surface dust. Credit: Gordon M. Grant

The Southampton Intermediate School gymnasium has closed temporarily to allow for a cleanup after small concentrations of lead were discovered in surface dust, school officials said.

The work is expected to be completed by Sunday night and, while the gym is closed, all physical education classes, athletic practices and competitions will be held elsewhere, according to a statement posted Wednesday on the school’s website from Southampton schools Superintendent Nicholas Dyno.

Lead was discovered during routine maintenance of the gym, according to the statement, but the school’s environmental consultants, EnviroScience, found no danger to students or staff, as the lead is not airborne.

“However, the health, safety and well-being of our students and staff is our top priority, and the Board of Education and district administration have made the decision to close the intermediate school gymnasium and locker rooms effective immediately and begin a thorough cleanup,” the statement said.

The district has contracted Branch Services, an environmental services remediation company, to perform a thorough cleanup and retesting, according to the statement.

In accordance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards, “the accumulated surface dust will be thoroughly cleaned off [sic] all elevated gymnasium structural steel rafters, I-beams, bar joists, trusses, elevated equipment and windowsills,” the notice said.

As an extra precaution, the district will also perform additional testing of surfaces throughout the intermediate school, according to the notice.

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