Dozens of concerned parents attended a meeting Monday night to find out how officials plan to deal with continuing mold problems at a Montgomery County middle school.
Last July, workers detected a small presence of mold inside classrooms at Cedarbrook Middle School in Cheltenham Township. Attempts to get rid of it failed as the humidity spiked.
“The mold reappeared and multiplied to a point where it was evident in many classroom spaces,” wrote school superintendent Natalie Thomas in a letter to schools.
The summer cleaning staff was relocated and school officials brought in an environmental consulting contractor to assist in their assessment. They also contacted environmental health experts at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine to provide air quality health and wellness guidance.
During a special meeting on August 6, the district announced that a contract was given to Langan Engineering & Environmental Service to monitor mold remediation and provide clearing testing services. The process delayed the school's opening from September 3 to September 16.
While school opened in the middle of September, further testing revealed the mold had resurfaced in the beginning of October. Then, on October 8, officials found mold in even more classrooms.
Due to the resurfaced mold, 12 classrooms and the school's cafeteria are currently sealed off.
During a public meeting at the school's auditorium on Monday, upset parents let their voices be heard.
"I have a very real concern about children in a building that at this point, is not safe," said Valeria Williams, one of the parents.
School district officials discussed four potential plans to deal with the mold, including a $26 million cleanup project that would take over two years to complete as well as temporarily moving students to another location. Most of the parents favored the temporary relocation idea. One parent wrote on the comment board however that the plan was "the best of the worst."
Another public meeting is scheduled for October 22. District officials are also providing updates on the school website.