Mold found in Greencastle-Antrim High School; no change in start of year

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
Tuckey Restoration was one of three companies involved in finding the source of mold in Greencastle-Antrim High School, getting rid of it, and preventing it from returning. The fungi was discovered as classrooms were prepared for students for the 2012-13 term. School will start as planned on Aug. 27.

Humidity was discovered to be the cause of mold in Greencastle-Antrim High School. The white, powdery substance was first noticed in a classroom around Aug. 1, and since then appeared in 10 more rooms, which were not necessarily adjacent to each other. The situation is now under control, said school officials, and school will open as scheduled next Monday. However, five rooms were not accessible during the Aug. 20 open house for freshmen while abatement procedures were still underway.

Supt. Dr. C. Gregory Hoover announced at the Aug. 16 school board meeting that carpet had been removed from one room already, replaced by tile. Professionals had been called in for testing and cleaning.

On Friday morning, Generations Environmental tested the air quality of every classroom, and the results released on Saturday showed that all were fine. Tuckey Restoration, Carlisle, sent in two crews Friday to start cleaning the most recently diagnosed rooms, since the company had already cleaned those affected earlier in the month.

"It takes about a day for one room to be done," said Hoover. "One is awaiting tile to be put down on the floor as we are ripping up that carpet, the worst room of the bunch."

He expected all of the cleaning to be completed by Tuesday, Aug. 21.

The Barton Group, York, sent an engineer Friday to examine the mold, and he reported back that evening.

"Humidity is the culprit, and especially this year," Hoover said. Barton left a list of recommendations to prevent a recurrence.

"Some are as simple as leaving the air conditioning on all of the time, especially the weekends," Hoover continued. "Also, making sure all blinds and window coverings are up so sunshine can come in and help keep the humidity and moisture out."

All viable options were immediately put into practice, he added.

Hoover said the experts stated no people were at risk from the mold, since the rooms had been vacant. With the advent of the school session, there should be no undue concern since mold seldom occurred in rooms full of people.