A bat infestation was cleaned from a third floor ceiling of Oak Ridge High School this summer, school officials said.
Five live bats and more than 20 dead bats were removed, according to Allen Thacker, maintenance and operations supervisor for Oak Ridge Schools.
Maintenance workers had learned of the possible infestation on June 5, Thacker said. A pest control contractor said the infestation was contained in a third floor level of a 1994 addition.
The contractor said the bats were a common brown bat that migrates though the area, and the bats were most likely part of a larger colony that moved through the area, leaving a small group of sick or weakened bats behind.
Plans were in place to seal the openings the bats were using to get inside the building, Thacker said.
He said a company specializing in disaster recovery had to be hired to clean up the contamination caused by the bat infestation. Repairs included the removal and disposal of affected materials, the cleaning of the heating and cooling and duct system, and a disinfecting fogging of all affected areas. Cleanup operations were scheduled to start Monday, June 24, and expected to take one week to complete, Thacker said in a June 19 memorandum that was updated July 31.
“Restoration of the area proceeded cleanup operations and was ready for the start of school,” Thacker said.
The repairs cost $62,326, and the expense was fully covered by Tennessee Risk Management Trust, Thacker said.
The Oak Ridge Board of Education is scheduled to approve the bat infestation cleanup during a meeting that starts at 6 p.m. Monday, August 5, in the Robert J. Smallridge School Administration Building at 304 New York Avenue.
You can see the agenda for Monday’s meeting and read Thacker’s memo here.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
You can contact John Huotari, owner and publisher of Oak Ridge Today, at (865) 951-9692 or [email protected]
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