The Fayette County school board voted Monday to make an "emergency" fix over winter break at Lexington's Locust Trace AgriScience Center, where levels of radon are higher than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends.
Superintendent-designee Mary Wright, who is also the district's chief operating officer, said that at one point during a yearlong radon screening, the radon level was found to be 10 times the recommended level of 4 picocuries per liter. That is not the case now, she said.
District officials had not been testing radon levels at all schools because it wasn't required, but they will start to do so on a rotating basis, Wright said in an interview. She said a "slightly high level" of radon also had been found at Yates Elementary School, and that facility was being retested.
Yates was renovated in 2011, the same year Locust Trace was built.
Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas, according to the EPA website. It comes from the natural decay of uranium that is found in nearly all soils. It moves up through the ground to the air and into buildings through cracks and other holes in the foundation.
Additionally Monday, the school board approved the new Fayette County Public Schools Education Foundation Committee, which will work with the Bluegrass Community Foundation to oversee district trust funds.
In an examination released in September, state Auditor Adam Edelen questioned how the district oversaw trust funds that it managed.