Whether school districts test buildings for radon was a popular topic on some media outlets this spring. Radon testing is recommended but not required in Minnesota schools and some news reporters learned most schools have not tested for radon for many years. The legislature proposed a bill requiring each school building be tested every five years.
The lack of a basement in most schools and the required air circulation designed in school facilities are reasons most schools do not have high radon levels. The last recorded testing in a Big Lake School was in 2001-02. All radon levels were recorded in the normal range. Even though radon testing is still not required for school districts, the Big Lake Schools will begin retesting schools starting this summer. Testing methods have changed over the years, which now has radon levels monitored over several months instead of a few random dates. Due to the age of the building and being the only school having a basement, testing will begin this summer at the middle school.