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Mold contamination forces Pennsylvania high school to shut down for a week

Sept. 10, 2018
Upper Perkiomen High School in Pennsburg, Pa., will be closed while workers clean the building an doverhaul the HVAC system.

A high school in Pennsylvania will be closed for the entire week because of mold contamination.

Upper Perkiomen High School in Pennsburg, Pa., will be closed from Sept. 10 through Sept. 14, Upper Perkiomen District Superintendent Alexis McGloin said in a message to parents.

"Many of our fellow eastern Pennsylvania districts were forced to delay the start of school or close buildings for a period of time because of moisture and mold issues, and now our high school can unfortunately be added to that ever-growing list," the superintendent wrote.

McGloin says officials first detected mold in areas of the high school over the summer break and brought in companies to clean the areas of surface mold, scrub the air, replace air filters, and brought in dehumidifiers.

But after a recent spate of wet weather, school officials discovered that the mold had returned.

“The moisture challenges have become larger than we and the experts initially thought, and some new problems have popped up since the start of the year, including new mold growth in the gymnasium,” McGloin says.

The companies that had cleaned the school will take a closer look at the root of the moisture problem in the school, McGloin says

“What these experts have suggested is that we make significant changes to our high school’s oldest HVAC system to make it more efficient and take steps to alleviate our moisture problem,” McGloin wrote. “They also recommended cleaning the affected areas and ductwork, to ensure that the problem is remediated effectively and that our high school is a healthy environment for students and staff.”

The school is about 50 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

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