TILTON — The first day of school at the Winnisquam Regional Middle School will be delayed for at least a week as workers remove mold found in the building.
Superintendent Tammy Davis said school would have normally started on Tuesday, but will instead start on Thursday, Sept. 5.
That starting day may change. “At this point, it looks like we will probably meet that date, but we won’t know until all the tests come back,” Davis said.
Parents can come to an informational meeting on Monday from 5 to 6 p.m. in the high school cafetorium.
As custodians were cleaning the sixth-grade wing of the school in recent weeks, they identified mold on some furniture in two of the classrooms. Upon further investigation of the sixth-grade hall and classrooms, more mold was discovered on walls and lockers, Davis said.
The district hired a company specializing in mold removal to clean and disinfect affected areas.
District officials also hired an air quality specialist to conduct further testing of the school, which found “that the same mold concerns exist in the seventh grade wing, indicating a much larger problem than originally anticipated,” Davis said.
Davis said the district regularly does air quality tests at the building, which have shown normal levels of moisture. The district is taking precautionary measures to replace areas affected by the moisture and mold, cleaning throughout the building, and re-testing the air quality, she said.
“We are working with the industrial hygienist to control the moisture and prevent further mold growth,” Davis wrote in a letter to parents this week.
The sixth-grade wing has been professionally cleaned and portions of the walls are being replaced with moisture- and mold-resistant board.
In the seventh-grade wing, the district is replacing ceiling tiles, conducting professional cleaning, and then re-testing air quality, she said. The eighth-grade wing and rest of the school is also tested, she said.
All the cleaning, maintenance, and air-quality tests will be complete by Monday, Davis said.