SAU39 - Amherst, NH

Healthy Buildings

Creating healthy spaces for our students and staff is a key component to the future of the Amherst schools.

 Why Healthy Buildings?

 

“The quality and characteristics of our schools have an outsized impact on the health of students. By the time a student graduates from high school, she or he has spent 15,600 hours inside a school, an amount of time second only to that spent at home. For more than 50 million K–12 students in the United States, the time spent in school is also a time of rapid physical growth, hormonal changes, intense learning, and critical neurological and social development. Unfortunately, many aspects of the health and performance of students can be negatively affected by chronic exposures to common environmental factors in school buildings, including indoor air pollution, mold, pests, pesticides, radon, asbestos, lead, inadequate lighting, and elevated noise levels.” The T.H. Chan Harvard School of Public Health

CURRENT CHALLENGES

Asbestos throughout all Elementary and Middle School buildings requiring regular monitoring and mitigation.  Asbestos removal and high quality, non-toxic building materials will be better for the health of our community.  For more information about asbestos exposure and schools: https://www.asbestos.com/asbestos/schools/

Climate control and ventilation continue to be a challenge for our students and staff.  In late summer, fall and spring, the buildings can be stifling.  In the winter months, temperatures  fluctuate from one extreme to another depending on where you are located in the building. 

Moisture.  Rain and moisture, particularly at the Amherst Middle School are a concern.  Rain and snow melt leaking through ceiling tiles and requiring a catch basin are a common occurrence. 

Our fire suppression systems are not inline with today’s high standards.

Lack of acoustical separation at the middle school result in elevated noise levels.  

 

BUILDINGS MATTER

“By the time a student graduates high school, they will have spent more than 15,000 hours in a school, which is the second longest indoor exposure time after their home. For more than 50 million K-12 students enrolled in fall of 2015, this is a time of critical physiological, social and emotional growth and development, which is susceptible to many indoor conditions including indoor air pollution, mold, elevated noise levels, radon, asbestos, inadequate lighting and more.” The T.H. Chan Harvard School of Public Health, https://schools.forhealth.org/