The Sweet Home School District was recently awarded two grants from the State of Oregon – a $25,000 grant to test all district facilities for radon and a $25,000 grant to complete a district-wide long range facility plan.
Radon Testing Grant
All Oregon school districts are required to test for radon gas by January 1, 2021. The radon testing grant will allow the Sweet Home School District to test its school facilities for radon a year early, during the
upcoming 2019-2020 school year.
Radon is a naturally occurring gas that comes from the breakdown of uranium in soil and rock. Breathing high levels of radon over a long period of time can cause lung cancer. Radon can work its way into buildings, including homes and schools, through cracks in the ground and openings in foundations or under structures. You can’t see, smell, or taste radon. The only way to know if a building has elevated radon is to use specialized testing equipment.
The district plans to engage an independent professional environmental service to conduct the radon testing. The testing will be done during the winter. The test is non-invasive and poses no danger to staff or students. It consists of placing an air-sample collection packet for several days in rooms that are in contact with the ground.
Long Range Facility Plan Grant
The purpose of the Long Range Facility Plan is to understand facility needs, consider facility options and make recommendations to the School Board on the most appropriate methods to meet the long range facility needs of Sweet Home School District students.
The long range facility plan will also consider what can be done to make facilities safer and more secure for students and staff members.
Parents, staff members and community members will be invited to be involved in the process through a long range facility committee. The committee will evaluate existing facility conditions, study what other school districts are doing and then develop options for the Board to consider.
In order to receive the grant, the long range facility plan must be completed by December 31, 2020.