• Mold found in local schools leading to big changes

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    The school year is winding down, but many district superintendents are already focused on making sure their buildings open on time in the fall.

    Nearly a dozen local schools either cancelled classes or delayed the start of the 2018-2019 school year because of mold.

    Fox Chapel Area School District Superintendent Gene Freeman said it’s an easy decision to pull students from the classroom in cases like this.

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    “I think it says we take it very seriously and we know the effects of mold on health, and we just can't have our staff and students in that situation,” Freeman said.

    Leaky pipes, older buildings and poor HVAC units are just a few of the reasons behind mold in school buildings.

    For at least one district, the problems weren’t just inside the buildings. Mulch around the HVAC unit helped to retain moisture.

    “What we've tried to do is replace those with stone or river rock so that the moisture dissipates quicker into the atmosphere and is not going back through the HVAC,” Freeman said.


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    Other districts, like Pine-Richland, are being proactive now in hopes of avoiding problems with mold next school year.

    A spokesperson released the following statement: “The district plans to monitor conditions over the summer ... through testing and monitoring of the district buildings to support a smooth opening of the school year.”

    Last year’s very humid and wet summer contributed to mold issues. This summer is not looking to be quite as wet.


     

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