Contractors are racing against time to remove mold from classrooms at East Hills Middle School before teachers are due to report for work on Wednesday and students are due back in class in a week.
According to the agenda for a special meeting the Bethlehem Area School Board has scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday, contractors began working on mold remediation on Friday.
The scope of work in the affected rooms includes damp wiping all non-porous surfaces with a hospital grade disinfectant including all furniture, walls and floors. All porous surfaces will be cleaned using a HEPA filter equipped vacuum including all ceilings, books and carpets, according to a school board information packet available on the district’s Website.
Though the emergency work has already gotten under way, the school board is being asked by the administration to officially approve the work order to hire Sargent Enterprises Inc. at a rate of $87 an hour to complete the remediation. Total costs in the bid are not to exceed $80,000.
Mold was discovered in several East Hills Middle School classrooms on Tuesday, according to the information packet. The district facilities department then discovered that there were high humidity levels throughout the school’s east wing and in several west wing classrooms.
“Dehumidifiers and air scrubbers were placed in affected classrooms to lower the humidity levels and improve the indoor air quality,” the information packet said.
“Based on the initial investigation, the cooling plant operation was adjusted to reduce the high humidity levels and prevent further mold growth.”
The certified industrial hygienist that conducts the district’s annual air quality testing was consulted in crafting a mold remediation plan. The same hygienist will evaluate the remediation and test air quality before teachers are permitted to re-enter the classrooms, according to the information packet.