Mold delays start of school for southern Michigan district

BATTLE CREEK, MICH. - The start of school will be delayed for Harper Creek Community Schools students due to mold found in Harper Creek Middle School.

There will be no school on Tuesday and the middle school will be closed until test results  "confirm a safe environment for students and staff," the district announced in news release posted to Facebook Friday. All other district buildings have been closed as well so that everyone starts school the same day.

On Aug. 31, officials were notified that a middle school classroom had "visible mold growth" on the carpet, which was later sanitized and cleaned that same day.

On Thursday, officials discovered that two more middle school classrooms had mold growing on the carpets. They were also cleaned.

Health and safety consultants DeLisle Associates came to the school Friday and took samples from the affected classrooms, the hallway and outside. Test results from these samples indicated that two of the three rooms had "high elevations of Pen/Asp spore group, two of the most common groups of mold encountered in homes and outdoors," according to the news release.

School officials said this type of mold grows when there is high humidity.

The district has hired mold remediation technicians to remove the carpets from the affected classrooms and clean the rooms. That work is slated to occur today.

A remediation specialist will determine if more needs to be done for the rooms, and DeLisle  Associates was expected to take air quality samples throughout the middle school today. The results of those tests are expected to be delivered Tuesday.

District officials said consultants did not say they had to close the middle school, but they want to keep the school closed until the test results indicate it's safe for students and staff.

All the other buildings will be closed, as well as the before and after school childcare programs,  in order "to allow for a uniform start to the school year," according to the news release.

(© 2016 WZZM)


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