PS29 Construction

UFT Inspection Reports

Posted by: admin on: June 4, 2012

The UFT will be conducting random, unannounced inspections of the work site.  You can find the reports for those visits here.

Mt. Sinai’s Pediatric Environmental Health Speciality Unit will come to PS 29 next Thursday, May 24 to speak with the parents and answer questions about health concerns associated with the ongoing construction work. The Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSU) are a source of medical information and advice on environmental conditions that influence children’s health.  We hope that you can join us in the auditorium the morning after drop-off especially if you have concerns you would like to raise.  The panel from Mt. Sinai will include Pediatricians and an Industrial Hygienist and will be hosted by PS29 parent and physician, Alexis Demopoulos.

In addition, Ed Olmsted, Industrial Hygienist for the UFT, made his second unannounced visit to the school.  His report and recommendations are forthcoming.

Yesterday was our bi-weekly look-ahead meeting with the SCA.  Great news – the brick demo work that has been causing dust in the past 4 weeks has been completed for the school year!  Below is an overview of what we confirmed and what was covered and next steps:

–Face brick demo is now finished which means that the major dust causing work is complete.

–Raking, which does create a lot of dust, will re-commence only July 1, is scheduled to continue until July 28. Cleaning will continue throughout this work and the interior will be ready for the new year.

–Next steps on the exterior walls including:

-parging (which is, in essence, smoothing out the surface before adding brick)

-installing veneer anchors (which hold the bricks in place) and

-filling of the mortar joints.

This is work that should not generate new dust. In addition, limestone cast stones will be put on the exterior above the bricks, at higher elevations.  Because the stone work is dependent on deliveries of materials, weather, and other factors we do not know when this will be completed.

—Asbestos abatement continues until finished.

—Exterior and interior cleaning procedures will continue even though most dust-generating work is completed, so we ask that parent volunteers who wish to do so still come in on school mornings to inspect.

Please refer to the project schedule for the remainder of the job. It can be found UNDER THE PROJECT DOCUMENTATION TAB ON THIS SITE.


Posted by: admin on: May 12, 2012



Thank you for the documents describing the terms.  It is quite an education.  We hope that going forward you will provide them to other parents before work begins. Having a better understanding from the get go could have started the relationship off a bit differently.  I do know of private schools that have gone through similar construction processes and the parents were walked through the scope of work in advance and it gave them a great deal of comfort in knowing what was ahead. 

You are correct, we do already have the entire schedule and it was posted on the website on May 1st after you gave it to us. Our apologies. Naturally, with all the documents that we read through and receive then post occasionally we are confused by what we’ve asked for and received. It has been there all along for everyone to see. As for the two – week look ahead, hopefully next week’s will be more clear and we can avoid another round of surprises. 

Today there was a lot of hosing going on after school hours. Thank you for passing on our concerns; the crew responded with action.

Regarding the flashing removal/tar patching to begin this weekend – to confirm there will be two checks for residual fumes in the building after roofing is completed at night:  one check at midnight and one at 6am. These checks will be performed by an individual who has not been desensitized from the possible off-gas of the tar.  Should there be an issue, SCA/AE will use mechanical means to remove the fumes and the air will be clear of toxicity and fumes resulting from the tarring before the kids and staff are to enter for the day on Monday. In addition, all fresh air intakes and a/c units in the area will be covered.

It was also agreed that Ben will be contacted about the residue that is settling regularly underneath the entire circumference of netting and actions will be taken to move this debris which, after hosing, dries and blows through the area. It was also agreed that debris containers will be covered at night to eliminate dust travel.  

It is really unfortunate that the discussion about the PPS couldn’t have had a different ending. We have made great progress together in maintaining the dust to a point but since there is no consistent proof that the air remains safe, nor medical studies showing how and if these kids are effected by the dust in the long run, it should not be out of the question to explore possible additional safeguards, a revision of best practices. You all express your concerned about the health and safety of our children but for the SCA there’s clearly a limit to that concern (and there’s no limit to ours). To not have simply investigated and considered the option of this system, as promised, was extremely disappointing (an understatement). We hope that the offer to consider other roofing options was more sincere.



Health & Safety


Construction Cleaning Procedure

Posted by: admin on: May 2, 2012

The following procedures are conducted everyday that construction work takes place.

3:30p.m. – 11:00 p.m.


  • a/c units in the area of work and adjacent general area are covered with plastic with plywood placed over for added protection from unlikely falling debris
  • staff is asked to close windows before leaving but there is a walkthrough to ensure windows are closed
  • plastic on the outside of the windows is checked and resecured as necessary
  • exterior of building, scaffolding, and netting are washed down at the end of the work night


  • cleaning process begins at the same time as construction work begins and continues through the evening until all work is halted at 11pm
  • two men work consistently throughout the shift, starting on the 5th floor and working their way down; when bottom floor is reached they go back up to the top floor and begin again, cycle continues throughout the shift.
  • cafeteria is included in cleaning process
  • the crew has a checklist written specifically for this job by Adams European (AE) General Contracting
  • areas to be cleaned are prioritized by the area in which construction work is actually happening on that night
  • included in clean up are window sills, desks, book shelves, top of all surfaces
  • surfaces are cleaned with wet wipes only, as to not create more dust.
  • crew does not move things on surfaces (like book bins) but rather clean around and over surfaces.  Their goal is to clean surface dust. It is for this reason teachers are asked to move things such as book bins off of top shelves if they want the entire surface cleaned.
  • window sills are vacuumed with handheld hepa vacuums by the Adams European crew of two
  • ps29 custodial staff is responsible for vacuuming carpets with HEPA vac (this is the only construction clean up that officially falls under school custodial staff)
  • carpets are vacuumed in the evening and again in the morning
  • at 11pm, the project officer does a walk through to inspect before leaving for the night



  • cleaning crew returns before school begins to clean any dust that has settled overnight using the methods and order described above
  • window ledges are wiped of any water as power washing the previous evening may cause water to seep through
  • Carlos and Juan from ps29 vacuum rooms again
  • Carlos walks through the building using his own checklist to be sure that all cleaning has been done

Occupancy Letter for Rooms 303

Posted by: admin on: May 2, 2012

Good morning,

Please be advised that the abatement work done on the exterior facades of room 303 and the third floor stairwell 2 window has been completed and the areas have been cleared for reoccupancy.

At 12.49pm we received an email (below) from Yvette Knight at the SCA outlining some decisions they have made regarding communication between us moving forward, documents we requested, and responses to the questions we submitted last Thursday.


Dear PS 29 Health & Safety Committee:

The New York City School Construction Authority (SCA) looks forward to a productive meeting at 9:00 AM on Thursday, May 3rd.

SCA representatives will be available to answer parents’ questions. We’ve blocked out an hour and one-half for this meeting in order to have enough time to respond to any additional questions that parents may have.

As noted in last nights email response, Ben Barresi is the SCA Project Officer for the PS 29 project. He will manage the project and he will be at PS 29 every night from 3:30 PM to 11 PM.

On Mr. Barresi’s  Tuesday and Saturday night’s off, another project officer will be assigned to the project. Mr. Barresi’s main priority will be ensuring that the SCA’s project moves along safely and efficiently. In order to do that, Mr. Barresi will not be the main contact person for the SCA.

As the parents’ contact person for the PS 29 project, I will respond to parents’ questions in a timely manner.

We agree with the committee that having one SCA contact person to direct parents’ question to make sense and, we also feel that it would makes sense for the parents to have one or two representatives to whom the SCA can respond in order to reduce duplication and ensure all parents questions are responded to in a timely manner.

Below please find responses to parents’ prior e-mailed questions.

Attached are the following:

• SCA responses to the questions submitted on 4/25 and on 4/27.
• Contract documents:
•  Adams European – too large for email.  Will be provided at the meeting on Thursday, May 3rd.
• Taylor Environmental – too large for email.  Will be provided at the meeting on Thursday, May 3rd.
• Clean up document
• Neighbor notification letter
• UFT protocol checklist
• Proposed schedule

Let me know of any questions or concerns.


Yvette Knight
Project Support Manager
NYC School Construction Authority
3030 Thomson Ave; Long Island City, NY 11101


Posted by: admin on: April 30, 2012


Dear Principal Woods:

As promised, below is the requested schedule.

Removal of window lintel paint/caulking

  • Mon.   4/30 (4th Floor) Removal in room 400, Stair 2 & room 402 (Boys rm)
  • Tue.    5/1 (3rd Floor) Removal in room 303 & Stair 2
  • Wed.   5/2 (3rd Floor) Removal in room 300 & Room 302 (bathroom)
  • Thur.   5/3 (2nd Floor) Removal in room 200 & 202 (bathroom)
  • Fri.       5/4 (2nd Floor) Removal in room 203 & Stair 2

Removal of Roofing materials (Perimeter flashing/tar & tar sealant on copper flashing only for Roof N)

  • Sat.     5/5 Removal on roof F
  • Mon.   5/7 Removal on roof F
  • Tue.    5/8 Removal on roof F
  • Wed.   5/9 Removal on roof F
  • Thu.     5/10 Removal on roof F
  • Fri.       5/11 Removal on roof G & N
  • Sat.      5/12 Removal on roof G & N

Please note that the above schedule is subject to change due to weather or field conditions.

Let me know of any questions or concerns.


Yvette Knight

Project Support Manager

NYC School Construction Authority

3030 Thomson Ave; Long Island City, NY 11101



Posted by: admin on: April 29, 2012

Hello Everyone,

We understand that many of you are anxious and confused about what happens next in our ongoing struggle to understand the extent and implications of the the construction/demolition and its dust’s impact on the indoor air quality at our school.  We too are anxious and confused and trying to piece together the many aspects of this situation.

Over the weekend, many of you/us have been researching options for our children if this demolition continues as planned when school is in session.  We know that some are considering pulling their children out and home-schooling or looking for other options. We are aware that some groups have sprung up to organize and communicate these efforts and expect that those groups will be reaching out to the general school community as well.

We also would like to let you know that we have also been working through the weekend on four fronts–

1.  To make sure that if the work continues as planned, existing protocol is strictly enforced and the extra measures that we have gotten the SCA to agree to are implemented and also strictly adhered to.

2. Exploring as many other options as we can to best understand the demolition and construction and how its dust can be controlled, possibly using methods unfamiliar to the SCA but which are becoming standard operating procedures for the private sector.

3.  Continuing to go through political channels to encourage elected officials to stop this work at our school and all schools through a policy change that recognizes the dangers of toxic indoor air quality.

4.  Figuring out how to best communicate with those of you who are already concerned and informed and reaching those who are not as connected yet to so that we all understand our options in the face not only of this demolition/construction but also of the often confusing and voluminous onslaught of information and options about it.

Please stay tuned for updates which we hope will be positive and in the interest of all of us and our children,

Thank you,

The health and safety committee

Occupancy Letter for Room 404

Posted by: admin on: April 29, 2012