Students change classrooms at Mariam Boyd Elementary in Warrenton on Dec. 7, 2021. The school opened in 1957 and needs renovation. In 2019, the Warren County school board closed another elementary school due to concerns the aging heating system could fail.
The writer heads a nonprofit called the Pollution Detectives, which lends electronic equipment to students, parents and school staff to survey schools for issues with indoor air quality, lead in drinking water, radon gas and leaking HVAC systems.
Recent articles reminded me about an ongoing, unseen tragedy in our state. Thousands were evacuated after a fire broke out Jan. 31 at a Winston-Salem fertilizer plant. The plant contained 600 tons of explosive chemicals but had no sprinklers or fire alarms because the building where the chemicals were stored was built in 1939 and building code did not require them.