Community College of Rhode Island

Environmental/Safety Committee Meeting Minutes

November 18, 2005


TO:                  Bill Mercer, Bruno Kurowski, Kathy Twining, Manny Terezakis,

Edna O’Neill Mattson, Barbara Legg, George Sousa, Jim Ellis, Janet Anderson, Richard Robinson, Joanne Jacobs, Dennis Melander, Tracy Karasinski, Bill Ferland, Dan Farrell, Jean Billerbeck


FROM:            Stephen F. Marginson

                        Dean of Administration


RE:                   Environmental/Safety Committee Meeting Minutes


DATE:             March 13, 2006            


Meeting called to order at 10:30 a.m. on November 18, 2005 at the Flanagan Campus


Attendees:      Stephen Marginson (KC), Manny Terezakis (FC), Joanne Jacobs (FC),

Mary Pecchia (FC), Bill Mercer(KC), Dennis Melander(KC), Bruno Kurowski(FC), Jim Ellis(KC), Kathy Twining(KC),  Dick Robinson(FC), George Sousa(FC), Bill Ferland(KC), Edna O’Neill Mattson(KC), Janet Anderson(KC), Jean Billerbeck(KC), Tracy Karasinski(KC)


PLEASE NOTE:  Bulleted comments require action.  Please be prepared to update the committee at the next meeting or by date listed where applicable.  Thanks.


Steve opened the meeting by asking George Sousa to address the first bulleted item from the last minutes.  The subject was the Honeywell contract for the dial-up phone between the Operations Department and the Security Departments and George said that the contract is still out to bid.


  • George will report back to the committee by the next meeting on the contract.


Jim Ellis briefed the committee on the CPR courses that are available through the Nursing Department.  That department holds classes once a month at the Flanagan Campus.  The course is open to anyone.  The cost is $45.00 with an additional cost of $13.50 for the text book through the bookstore.  There is also a new Heartsaver First Aid Program that they could also offer to the Physical Plant Department.  This course could be set up to include basic first aid, general medical principles, CPR for adults and injury emergencies.  This class would be a four hour class.  The cost of this type of course would be calculated according to the number of participants and how many instructors would be needed.  Bruno also mentioned that there are courses offered through the Athletics Department by Kevin Salisbury.


  • Mary will check into this course and report back to the committee. 


Janet Anderson mentioned that maybe the Personnel Department offers the course through their department. 


  • Mary checked with Personnel and was told that they could offer them, and have in the past, in conjunction with the Nursing Department.  This would be the same thing described above through the Security Department. 


Manny Terezakis let the committee know that 99% of the items containing asbestos at the Flanagan and Liston campuses have been identified by his department and will be kept on a list to be used when work needs to be done to that specific item or area.  A more comprehensive sweep needs to be done at the Knight campus. 


George Sousa said that as of July, 2005, any door that was compromised and needed repair has been noted and a bid is out to have those repaired or replaced. 


  • George Sousa will report back to the committee at the next meeting the progress of those repairs.


The ventilation throughout the Chemistry Lab and prep rooms was addressed and resolved by Manny.  Another round of testing was done to check the levels of formaldehyde within the labs at KC, LC, FC.  The cats used in experiments in the Human Anatomy classes are preserved using formaldehyde and the department has been ordering the cats with less of the formaldehyde in them.  Formaldehyde exposure badges can be worn by each lab worker to indicate their level of exposure. 


  • Steve asked Manny to get the word out to have the people in those labs to wear the badges.


Joanne updated the committee on the “Great American Smokeout” which took place on November 17, 2005.  There was a great turnout and response to the event.


  • Surveys were handed out at the event and Joanne will report back to the committee the findings of the survey.


There is new “No Smoking” signage from the RI Department of Health which is to be posted at all entrances.  The signage lists a telephone number that may be called to file a complaint.


  • The signs that the college already have are exactly like this signage without the telephone number.  The committee asked Lynda Souza to add the complaint telephone number and the wording from the RI Department of Health to the bottom of the sign.  The new signage was created, printed and hung at all campuses.


With regards to the No Smoking Policy at CCRI, it was noted that the actual wording of that policy is still not listed in the student handbook. 


  • Kathy Twining will check with the Dean of Students, Ron Schertz to see when that will appear in the handbook.  She will follow up with Dennis Moore to see if PR is the department that handles that.  She will also check with Lou Pullano/Lori Gelinas to see whether it can be listed on the electronic sign at all campuses at the start of every semester. 


Kathy made a motion to invite the Dean of Students to the next Environmental Committee meeting. 


  • Mary will extend the invitation to Ron


A discussion ensued regarding the enforcement of the No Smoking Policy.  The biggest offenders are the students.  As in the past, the committee discussed the best way to deter the smokers and it was reiterated that the help of everyone is needed to enforce this policy.  The Security Department has been the biggest enforcer of this policy and had a few run-ins with students.  There have been a few cases of run-ins turning physical and it has been determined that at all cost, that will be avoided.  The discussion of arresting offenders of this policy came up and everyone agreed that it certainly wouldn’t be what anyone on this committee sees as an acceptable option.  Though this policy will always be difficult to enforce, we have made great strides in deterring the majority and will continue to do so. 


  • Steve Marginson, Jim Ellis and Ron Schertz will meet to determine what further action can be taken to deter the repeat offenders of this policy. 


There was a bomb threat at the Knight Campus on October 5, 2005.  Janet Anderson had a few questions regarding some of the logistics of the evacuation policy, etc.  Steve addressed the question of the distance that people were from the building during this threat and the length of time of evacuation for the bomb threat by stating that the Security Departments priority with staff available is to move people out of the building and go back in to cover the threat.  If there happens to be additional staff on duty, they are assigned to other priority areas including traffic.  The policy of evacuation has always been the same.  The details of this particular threat are outlined in a memo from Jim Ellis which Mary has on file.  It was determined, that by the time the second threat came in, it was a hoax and that the perpetrator was in the building using one of the in-house computers to send the message to the Enrollment Services.  For that reason, it was determined that the Security Department would handle the situation on its own without involving the Warwick Police. 


The HVAC issues still continue to be addressed at all campuses but especially at the Flanagan campus.  This past summer and early fall there was an extended period of time when the air conditioning was malfunctioning and has been addressed.  Until the system is replaced, there will be times when the system will be compromised and the Physical Plant will work diligently to correct it or provide other means of cooling. 


Steve spoke about the bond issue which will be, hopefully, on the ballot for November, 2006.  The bond will be for the expansion of the Flanagan Campus to add new classrooms and faculty offices to address the overcrowding of the faculty area.  This bond will also address the HVAC systems at all campuses.


Steve asked Manny about the discharge from the Knight Campus Chemistry lab.  The college is in violation of the Warwick Sewer discharge limits.  Manny explained that we are usually in complete compliance with our discharge limit, but this time we were over.  He has looked into it and did some re-tests which came back in non-compliance and at this point we are working towards full compliance.  Manny said we are now working with the lab instructors to prevent future incidents.


Manny visited the Newport Campus and was asked to check out the office of Kathy Twining and the LRC for odors.  At this time, the mold odor in Kathy’s office has been determined not to be mold and is unidentified as well as the odor in the LRC which may be attributed to the new materials used in the construction of that area.  At this time, ventilation has been increased in both areas.   


  • Manny will continue to stay in contact with Kathy and will respond to any issues with regards to the odors. 


Janet mentioned the door in the Northwest hallway of the Knight Campus.  This door is very difficult to open and this would be a concern especially during an evacuation. 


  • Bill Mercer had the door looked at and worked on and it is now in better working order.


Tracy Karasinski mentioned the she would like to see “Accessibility Concerns” as a regular item on each Environmental Committee Meeting agenda and Steve agreed.


  • Bill Mercer has compiled a list of handicap accessibility needs for funding which is being requested by the Governors Commission on the Disabled.


Kathy addressed Tracy with a question about the table set up in the Atrium of the Newport Campus.  Kathy observed that if you were visually impaired it would be nearly impossible to navigate through the maze of tables to reach either side of the Atrium. 


  • Tracy will check the Atrium out and see if anything can be done for the accessibility issues of that area.


Bruno asked whether there will be a Smoking Hut put up at the Newport Campus and mentioned that there is no smoking signage up at the building.


  • The hut is on order and the signage has been posted.


Bruno mentioned that speed is a factor with motorists at the Flanagan Campus.   He wondered if speed bumps were feasible.  Steve said that the speed bumps become an issue with the risk of more accidents when people slow down for them as well as the fact that they need to be taken in and out for snow removal. 


  • Dick Robinson said that there is sufficient signage for speed and stops and they will continue to patrol for speeders.


Bruno said that the roll down gates in the Enrollment Services area at the Flanagan Campus are in disrepair and dangerous.


  • George said that these gates are in the process of being repaired or replaced. 


Bruno mentioned the lighting in some of the stairwells and corridors as not being sufficient in some areas.


  • George will check into the lighting


Edna mentioned the elevators at the Knight Campus


  • Bill Mercer set up a meeting with Otis on December 9, 2005 to schedule work on each elevator.  Elevators will be repaired one at a time and the work will be extensive.


Barbara Legg sent a message to the committee regarding the poor condition and deterioration of the curbing at the Knight Campus. 


  • Bill Mercer said that that the purchase order has been given to Narragansett Improvement as of this date.  Due to the imminent weather conditions, they may need to do some interim temporary repairs for now.    


The meeting was adjourned at 11:35a.m.