Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Charlotte, NC
For Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS), IAQ troubles began with parent concern about possible mold in one school. An investigation concluded that mold was not an issue, but skeptical parents took their concerns to the media, inciting bad publicity and community mistrust. Although CMS weathered the immediate crisis, this event spurred a new commitment. CMS set out to ensure that proactive IAQ management became a way of life in the district. By conducting training for all school groups about how everyone can help maintain healthy IAQ, CMS Building Services demonstrated that every department and function has value. The result was a visible shift in CMS culture: a change in perceptions, behavior and ultimately, the mindset of the school community. One of the first signs of this change was a new appreciation for the facilities staff — the often unseen champions of any IAQ program.