School officials in Southington have started holding tours and lobbying voters to raise taxes to renovate two middle schools after hazardous chemicals were found in the buildings.
Southington Superintendent Joseph Erardi said he is making it clear that the need to renovate Depaolo and Kennedy middle schools is urgent because hazardous materials were found inside.
"A PCB, which is in the caulking of all our windows," he said. "It's a lubricant, which was used in the 60s, is the issue at hand."
PCB Are known to cause liver cancer and are absorbed through skin and can be inhaled. Infants are especially at risk.
"When the PCBs need to be removed, it is a costly removal," Erardi said.
The town initially approved an $85 million renovation plan for the two middle schools. However, removing the PCB will cost about $5 million, Erardi said.
"The cost will actually go down for the taxpayer and their back pocket cause of the increase coming from the state of Connecticut," the superintendent of schools said.
Erardi said the state of Connecticut is now pitching in $6 million to pay for the project.
Southington parents told Eyewitness News that they are happy with the decision.
"Anything we have to do for our schools to protect our children, especially against something that's harmful and we know about it, we should definitely put the money into it," said George Roderick, who is a parent of a middle school student.
The superintendent has set up 23 tours for people to view the schools and hear more about the plan. The town will vote on the plan on March 19.
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