Fraser Health and WorkSafe B.C. visited New Westminster Secondary School on Friday to look in on the rat situation, which came to light last week when students had to be moved from a classroom after a dead rat was found in the ceiling.
Board of education vice-chair Michael Ewen said there was general discussion regarding the district's pest-management procedures during Friday's visit. Both agencies seemed "satisfied" that the procedures were appropriate and being followed, Ewen said.
"They made a couple of minor suggestions, which will be implemented," he said.
One of the suggestions was that the school use the "block pesticide rather than the pellets."
"And I don't know what the difference is," Ewen said.
The group toured the Foundations of Learning classroom - room 138, where the dead rat was found last week, and adjacent areas.
"They indicated that they didn't see any evidence of elevated rodent activity in the area," Ewen said.
Board of education chair James Janzen said he expected the board of education would receive a report on the Fraser Health/WorkSafe visit at its next meeting on Nov. 20.
Ewen or Janzen couldn't confirm whether the district had called in Fraser Health and WorkSafe or whether the agencies came in on their own. Fraser Health couldn't be reached for comment at press time.
The issue of the dead rat surfaced last Tuesday. The decomposing rodent was discovered because of the stench it gave off, said Wendy Harris, a local parent with a child at the high school. Her son attends classes in the same room that the rat was discovered.
Students were moved to another room while the situation was dealt with.
A number of people have noted that they have either seen rats or evidence of rats at the high school, including the New Westminster Teachers' Union president Grant Osborne, who said recently that teachers told him about rat concerns earlier this fall.
The president of CUPE Local 409 Marcel Marsolais told The Record last week that the age of the building - it's more than 50 years old - is a significant part of the problem. For well over a decade, the school district has been attempting to rebuild a new high school on the site. The cemetery and soil conditions have been recent stumbling blocks for the long-overdue project.
In 2007, Fraser Health inspected the high school and found evidence of rodents at that time.
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