Posted on April 30, 2024
Categories: Environmental

The Office of Environmental Management and Services hosted the quarterly meeting of the Environmental Advisory Council on Monday, May 6, at South Philadelphia High School. The focus of this field trip was the District’s “swing space” plan – and South High plays an important role in the District’s ability to maintain in-person learning when a nearby school needs to close temporarily.

Most asbestos abatement and remediation can be done in off-hours without interrupting school communities. However, some situations require a school to close so workers can access all necessary spaces and repairs can be done safely and swiftly.  That was the case last fall when Southwark needed to close for several weeks for emergency work related to asbestos and its heating system. Within days, dedicated space was ready for K-5 students at South High and 6-8 graders at George W. Childs School.

Principal Chek-Taylor led a tour to show the areas used for a separate cafeteria, office space, and classrooms, as well as distinct entrances. Her school shifted the location of some classrooms and programs so the District can have swing space available almost immediately as needed.

EAC members met with Victoria Flemming, interim Executive Director of OEMS, in one of the swing classrooms and discussed topics such as the availability of AHERA reports online, greater engagement with school communities, and concerns about maintaining healthy indoor air quality.

OEMS thanks Principal Chek-Taylor, SRM Tom Sharer, FAM Anthony Green, and BE Anthony DiCaprio for staying into the evening to join the meeting and answer questions.

The next meeting of the EAC will be in August.