• Lisa Messer

Let’s Talk about Hough Elementary

I visited Hough Elementary with my kids recently. The playground scored a perfect 10 from both of them. But more importantly let’s discuss the safety and health concerns at Hough.


Lisa with her son and daughter in front of Hough.

A Columbian article from May 23rd identified that Hough Elementary has mold and lead paint in the building. Another article from June 1st gave details about the clean up plan. This is a serious problem; lead is a neurotoxin and mold is related to health problems. This also brings up the question of asbestos. If lead is still in the building are there still sources of asbestos too?

My first question is what do we do about it? Hiring professionals in lead abatement is a must. PBS Engineering and Environmental have experience and are local. They’ve started the clean up process and will be able to answer questions about where is the lead coming from and how to remove the source without creating more problems. Same for the source of the mold. Board members will need to listen to our community and take their concerns seriously while we address this problem.

My second question is how did this happen? The school was renovated in 1996. I would really like to see information about the renovation process, who was contracted for lead abatement, and how much of the original word work was replaced. The more we know about that process the less likely we are to repeat it.

My last question is what can we learn about this? What was missed in the renovation process? How can we learn from this and adopt policies and procedures so this never happens again. I would hate to see a historically significant building like Hough replaced, but our number one priority needs to be our students.


A double 10 for the Hough Playground!

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