TILTON — What was supposed to be the first day of school at Winnisquam Regional Middle School passed Tuesday without students in the building due to a recently discovered mold problem.
At a meeting with the public on the matter Monday night, school officials said that one way or another, the school will open its doors to students on Thursday, Sept. 5.
If on that date the mold hasn't been removed, students will be moved to other classrooms while the cleaning is completed.School officials are hoping test results will come back this week showing that the mold has been cleared from the building, Superintendent Dr. Tammy Davis said.
Davis said she will be sending a letter to parents informing them of the test results, likely by the end of this week.
The mold was discovered as custodians were cleaning the sixth-grade wing of the school earlier this month. 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 promptly hired a company specializing in mold remediation and 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 in areas affected by the moisture and mold, cleaning throughout the building, and re-testing the air quality for normal outcomes, she said.
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 being tested, she said.