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Rubber floors at nine Colorado Springs School District 11 schools — the kind typically found in gymnasiums — are being tested after officials became aware that the floors have the potential to release mercury vapors during wear and tear, a news release says.

"The presence of this flooring material does not automatically present a concern," the release says. "District 11 found there are no industry standards or testing requirements for mercury contained in rubberized flooring."

D-11 "conducted preliminary testing" at the nine schools, which confirmed the presence of mercury — but "there are no indications that the flooring is cause for any immediate health and environmental concerns or alarm," the release says.

Based on the results of further testing through a third-party environmental consultant, the floors might be replaced using funds from the 2017 mill levy override, the release says.

The rubberized flooring was found at these schools:

• Doherty High School

• Sabin Middle School (the main gym rubber floor, which was mitigated and replaced with hardwood in August, does not contain mercury)

• Russell Middle School

• Chipeta Elementary School

• Fremont Elementary School

• Grant Elementary School

• Henry Elementary School

• King Elementary School

• Rudy Elementary School

"Throughout this process, the district is communicating with families and staff at each of the schools and, by using ventilation and temperature control techniques, will address and lower any mercury levels that could potentially cause any harm," the release says. "While Freedom and McAuliffe Elementary Schools both have rubber gym floors, both were installed in 2008, after the dates where the mercury containing catalyst was used in the flooring, and neither schools’ floor contains mercury."

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Ellie is a crime and breaking news reporter. She's a proud Midwesterner, stationery hoarder and Earl Grey tea enthusiast. After interning at The Gazette in 2015, she joined the newspaper's staff in 2016.

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