Cubs Cave Update – June 12, 2019
Dear Community Members,

Last evening, June 11, the Board of Education unanimously approved an emergency resolution to proceed with the removal/replacement of the Cubs Cave flooring at Levy Lakeside Elementary School. As noted in my community letter on May 19, J.C. Broderick and Company, our district’s environmental testing specialist, conducted additional testing of the flooring and materials within the room. Testing confirmed low levels of mercury in the floor itself, as well as the concrete beneath the floor. (The report will be placed on our website.)

While the levels detected are very low and are not at the level defined as “hazardous” for purposes of removal, the Board and administration would like to eliminate the mercury containing material within Cubs Cave. By passing the emergency resolution yesterday evening, we can now move forward with submitting plans for floor replacement to the New York State Education Department for review and approval. 

It is our hope that this process moves along quickly, which would allow us to replace the floor and concrete this summer. If for some reason we are not able to complete the project during the summer months, please be assured that Cubs Cave will remain closed to students and staff until the floor has been replaced.

Thank you for your continued attention to this matter. I will continue to keep you updated with any important developments.

Sincerely,
Dominick Palma
Superintendent of Schools 




Initial Parent Letter Regarding Cubs Cave Flooring - May 8, 2019
Dear Levy Lakeside Families:

We have recently become aware that the material in the Cubs Cave flooring at Levy Lakeside School may contain components that could emit mercury vapor. Upon notification, we immediately had an environmental testing company sample the air in the room. Following the initial screening protocols, very low levels of detectable mercury vapor were found. As a precautionary measure, the Cubs Cave has been closed for use until further notice so that our environmental testing company may conduct a more comprehensive monitoring evaluation over the next several weeks. After this thorough assessment is complete, we will be able to determine what, if any, remediation is necessary.

More information will be provided as it becomes available. We appreciate your patience as we work to ensure the safety of our students and staff. 

Sincerely,

Dominick Palma
Superintendent 


Cubs Cave Update – May 15, 2019
Dear Levy Lakeside Families,

As an update to my letter last week concerning the Cubs Cave, the district held a follow-up meeting earlier this week with J.C. Broderick & Associates, the environmental testing company that completed the preliminary screening of Cubs Cave for mercury vapor. As you can see from the attached report, the levels of detected mercury are below available federal and state short-term exposure limits and slightly above the Environmental Protection Agency’s level for a lifetime of continuous exposure.

Despite this low level of vapor release, the Board of Education and I are very uncomfortable with any level of mercury vapor within our schools. As a result, the Cubs Cave will remain closed for the near future until more rigorous testing can be performed. Negative air pressure has been introduced to the space by an environmental management company to assure no vapor enters other spaces within the school. This is out of an abundance of caution and in preparation for further testing of the materials in the room. The results of this expanded testing will allow the District to determine the best course of action for the Cubs Cave as we move forward.

As additional information becomes available, it will be shared with the community. The safety of our students and staff is our highest priority. Your patience as we work on this issue is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,

Dominick Palma
Superintendent


Important Message re: Cubs Cave - May 19, 2019
Dear Community Members:

As I had announced earlier, we have detected low levels of mercury vapor in the Cubs Cave at Levy Lakeside School.  Today, Newsday and News 12 are running stories about school floors and mercury.  In general, they referenced my earlier parent letters and the testing results accurately.  One component that may be misleading is that some of the headlines and trailers imply that Levy Lakeside School is closed.  The school is open - only the Cubs Cave is currently closed. 

As Newsday indicated, the mercury vapor levels are below any governmental or safety industry standard for short term exposure. In an abundance of caution, the Board of Education and I have closed Cubs Cave and introduced negative air pressure to continue to vent the room while it is closed.  This type of floor does not exist in any of our other schools.

J.C. Broderick Company, our district’s environmental testing specialist, is conducting additional testing which will help the District determine what will be the next step to address this problem.  We expect that it will be approximately two weeks before we have the additional information.  At that time, the Board of Education will discuss the matter in a public meeting. Cubs Cave will remain closed.

The Board of Education and I would like to thank you for your patience as we carefully address this matter. We will continue to update you throughout this process.

Sincerely,

Dominick Palma
Superintendent

 

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