Mold Delays Start of School, Again

A south Jersey School District hoping to have its mold problem cleared up this week is forced to delay the start of school for a second time.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC10 Philadelphia
    Students will not be heading back to Northfield Community School for nearly two weeks because of mold.

    Students in the Northfield Community School District in Atlantic County, NJ were planning to head back to class on Monday, after the start of school was delayed last week due to mold. This weekend they found out the first day of school won't come until September 21st.

    Saturday night, Superintendent Janice DeCicco Fipp sent an email to parents saying she regretted to inform them the school will be closed for nearly two weeks.

    Mold Causes Several NJ to Close

    [PHI] Mold Causes Several NJ to Close
    All three schools in the Somers Point School District are closed due to mold and four other districts in South Jersey are also dealing with mold problems. Mold detection specialist Dan Rostelli told NBC10's Ted Greenberg the summer's extreme heat could be to blame.

    ServPro, a professional remediation company began working to remove the mold on Sunday morning, according to Fipp.

    In the email, Fipp explained the situation, "The current condition of the school has developed over the last few weeks. Without the school being occupied, the HVAC systems are not prompted to turn on as frequently as when the school is occupied. It can therefore, not remove as much moisture as is being brought in from the outside.  Normally, this would not be a problem, but with the extreme weather conditions and an unoccupied school, the systems were unable to keep up," said Fipp.

    Other schools in New Jersey are having the same problem and experts say it's due to the high temperatures and humidity in recent weeks. 

    All three schools in the Somers Point School District are closed indefinitely.

    Somers Point Superintendent of Schools, Jeffery Miller, posted a statement on the district's website saying evidence of mold has been found in all of the district's school buildings, cleanup is underway but the schools will not open this week. Miller says he is meeting daily with environmentalists and contractors and as he gets new information, he'll pass it along to parents.

    Weymouth Township School District is planning to open on Tuesday, nearly a week behind schedule.

    Ocean City High School is also expected to reopen Monday, after closing last Friday for mold cleanup.

    Manchester Township school officials say the district's middle school will be shuttered for several months after mold was found in August on the building's first floor. Classes for the more than 700 students attending the middle school are being held at the district's high school until the cleanup work is completed. Officials say high school students have classes from 7 a.m. to noon, while the middle school students attend classes from noon to 5 p.m.

    Officials for all the affected schools say the health of students and staff is their number one priority.

    According to the Department of Environmental Protection, mold produces spores that float through the air and can sometimes cause health problems. People who are allergic to mold may get watery eyes, runny or stuffed noses, itching, headaches and may have difficulty breathing. Mold can also trigger asthma attacks, according to the DEP.