MARS, Pa. (KDKA) — It’s the first day of school for kids in the Mars Area School District, but some parents are a little on edge.
The middle school is undergoing renovations, and some parents worry if it’s safe enough for their kids.
Craig Suppo said his wife snapped some photos when she was at Mars Area Middle School Thursday for an orientation with their seventh grade daughter. They were given a walk through of the school since it’s been undergoing extensive renovations since June. Suppo said he was disappointed when he looked at the pictures.
“The thing that surprised me during orientation was they hadn’t cleaned anything yet. Hadn’t put any barriers up yet. Basically wide open. Construction workers everywhere,” said Suppo.
Suppo said his daughter has allergies, and he’s aware of other kids that do too.
“How much cleaning are they going to do on a regular basis and keeping the duct work clean so you’re not blowing dust and dirt everywhere. There’s kids with asthma. Kids with allergies,” said Suppo.
Superintendent Dr. Wesley Shipley said he received around six emails from parents bringing up similar concerns.
“We tested air quality. We’ve taken care of a lot of things that we can do and we’ve passed all of our inspections and we’re feeling really good,” said Dr. Shipley.
Dr. Shipley said they had a cleaning crew come in over the weekend too. Right now, the school is nearing the end of phase one. There are five phases which he says should be finished before Christmas. He says this project is costing the district over $15 million.
“As work goes on, those phases are separated by barriers that have been put up by contractors, or the work is outside work,” said Dr. Shipley.
“Sometimes you wanna go beyond the minimum when dealing with people’s children, there’s no such thing as good enough. You have to go further,” said Suppo.