Air Quality Tests Done
Further air quality assessments will be conducted after elevated mold levels were discovered in one classroom at Amvet Boulevard School.
According to Superintendent Scott Holcomb, the school has experienced a number of leaks in the roof over the past year. Recently, staff reported a musty odor, and Vertex, a Weymouth-based engineering firm, was brought in to test the interior.
Results showed elevated spore counts of aspergillus, a common type of mold that lives indoors and outdoors, and penicillium, the mold used to produce the penicillin antibiotic, in Room 1 of the school. The room was closed following the test results, and remains so as of press time.
“We’ve got a roofing company hunting down the leaks,” said Holcomb. “We’ve got the bulk of them taken care of.”
Following the discovery of the mold, Holcomb said the students were relocated to the school library. J. Brian Day Emergency Services was hired to clean the room, including the floor, walls, and ceiling. A fresh coat of mildew-resistant paint was applied to the ceilings and every item in the room was thoroughly cleaned. Once this was completed, tests were conducted by Vertex for mold, fungus, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and other harmful substances.
According to Holcomb, further air quality assessments will be done by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the schools are also working with the Board of Health. Verbal and written communication will be given once the work is done, and an official report should be available in two weeks.
“I personally want to see firsthand what is going on with each of our schools,” said Holcomb.
This week, testing was done at the Community School, as leaks have been reported there as well. E-mails were sent to parents and staff informing them of the situation In addition, a plan would be developed should any rooms test positive for mold or other substances, particularly if an entire school would need to be closed.
“Once we get the report from the state we’ll follow they’re recommended guidelines, if they find anything,” said Holcomb.
Announcements regarding these assessments will be done by school principals through the Blackboard Mass Connect System. For more information, residents are advised to contact Anne Marie Fleming or Erin Egan of the Board of Health at 508-699-0104.