09-10-20: Written Update

Attached to this update are the following materials that comprise our Program Budget Update:

Miscellaneous project updates follow:

STEAM Building.

There had been a last-minute delay by PG&E in bringing permanent power to the new building and this, in turn, delayed completion of the elevator and fire/life/safety and accessibility inspections, among other work. After the State completes all inspections and issues a Certificate of Occupancy, the District will begin to move teachers and staff into the new building. The following photos show site work around the STEAM building and the installation of solar panels that double as window shades:

The 20s and 30s Buildings.

All classrooms, offices and hallways have been refurbished with fresh paint, thanks to the assistance of Warehouse Painting Hertfordshire. Additionally, new carpeting and heat-reflective roller shades, pathogenic air filters have been installed, and construction of the new PHS Counseling Center has been completed.

Performing Arts Center (PAC).

Construction of the PAC foundation is progressing on schedule (with completion expected in the Fall of 2021). Like the STEAM foundation, the PAC foundation will be highly reinforced because of the site’s specific geologic conditions and proximity to the Hayward Fault. The PAC foundation will be anchored to underlying bedrock with roughly 70 rock anchors, bolts, and rods that extend up to 40 feet into the ground.

Health & Safety Measures.

The District is preparing for the eventual return of students and staff to all six school sites, following both the State’s re-opening guidelines concerning community health and social distancing and the Environmental Protection Agency and Centers for Disease Control’s guidelines concerning ventilation, cleaning, disinfection, and safeguarding of school facilities. To ensure that these EPA, CDC and other guidelines are implemented as fully as possible, the District has been working with two certified environmental hygiene consultants, Milani & Associates and Enviro-STAR Inc, to develop school-site-specific cleaning and disinfection plans and schedules. Also like at H&S company Manchester. These health and safety measures, intended to minimize the potential spread of Covid 19, are summarized below.

Improving Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality.
To increase ventilation and improve air quality, the District is installing “MERV 13” air filters in all District buildings (except in the new STEAM building). These filters remove a range of particles and pathogens from the air. In the STEAM building, the state-of-the-art ventilation system (Dedicated Outside Air System, or “DOAS”) has been upgraded with a “bipolar ionizer” that kills pathogens. The District is exploring the feasibility of retrofitting the ventilation systems in other buildings throughout the District with this same pathogen control system.

Cleaning and Disinfecting.
When students return to campus, the District will use two EPA-approved disinfectant solutions (TB-Cide Quat and PurTab) to do thorough, daily cleanings of classrooms, offices, and restrooms. In addition, in any classroom or office where there is a confirmed or suspected positive case of Covid 19, the District will follow all requirements and guidelines, including use of electrostatic sprayers with PurTab disinfectant and hand-held, disinfecting UVC germicidal light (TruClean-400) that kills pathogens.  The District consulted with its Health & Safety Committee, which is made up of parents, educators, school nurses, and administrators, to evaluate products and methods.

Training Custodial Staff. 
All District custodial staff will complete training on safe and effective cleaning and disinfecting. Also, the District is following “best practices” from a Covid 19 resource guide that is being used in many Alameda County school districts, and that includes infectious disease preparedness and response guidelines.

Safeguarding Access to the Campuses. 
When students and staff return to the school sites, access to each campus will be restricted. All students and staff will be required to complete daily, in-home screenings and temperature checks before coming to school. Anyone with a fever or symptoms of Covid-19 will not be permitted on campus.

Teachers and others in the school community have asked about requiring temperature checks as students and staff arrive on campus each day. The Health & Safety Committee considered this and decided against it for a range of reasons, including: privacy issues; possible stigmatization of those who have an elevated temperature; the high rate of false positives; the likelihood of long lines and issues with social distancing while in line; and the fact that carriers can be asymptomatic, so a normal temperature may give a false sense of security.

With limited exceptions, the campuses will be closed to parents, volunteers, visitors, and others during the school day. The District will post more than 160 signs with health and safety information across the school sites, including but not limited to signs at each entrance.

Dispensing Hand Sanitizer. 
Teachers and others in the school community have asked about adding portable hand washing stations throughout the District. The Health & Safety Committee considered the feasibility of these stations and expressed unanimous preference for the use of hand sanitizer dispensers instead. In summary, there are already a sufficient number of bathroom and classroom sinks available for hand washing, and hand sanitizer is an effective complement. Sanitizer takes roughly two seconds to apply (compared with 20 seconds to thoroughly wash hands), so there is less likely to be a back up at sanitizing stations, and less likely to be an issue with social distancing while in line. Also, hand washing stations present significant maintenance issues with managing grey water, and preventing vandalism during non-school hours.

Private Fundraising for the Engineering Lab.

Some community members and the Piedmont Makers have pledged up to $300,000 in cash, equipment, and tech support to support the new STEAM Engineering Lab. Details about these donations will be worked out in the next couple of months.

We will follow up with Committee members in November to schedule staggered, small-group tours on December 3.