Mold removal in Hume School activity room begins this week
The mold beneath the activity room at Hume Elementary School found earlier this year is set to be removed starting this week.
The remediation job went out to tender earlier this month and one company had applied by the deadline, Thursday, Oct. 18 said Larry Brown, School District 8 director of operations.
The job should be completed by December 14 said Brown.
Mold remediation involves pulling the floor up, removing some walls and cleaning the moldy area with a special sand-blasting technique that uses dry ice followed by disinfectant.
Those areas will then be painted with a special “white yogurt” coloured paint that will prevent future mold growth, said Brown.
While the removal is in progress, the room will be blocked off, but that shouldn’t cause any disruption to the normal school activities, said Brown.
There will also be a fenced off wash down area at the school site and two storage trailers.
“There will be minimal impact to the school, if any,” said Brown.
The mold was discovered in May 2012 after staff and parents reported indoor air quality concerns within Hume Elementary School to the school district.
A site inspection discovered several areas of concern.
The first was in the kindergarten room were paint materials were not being discarded properly, causing some mold growth. The way those materials were being discarded was changed, said superintendent Jeff Jones in a report to the school board.
The second was in a paper storage room where it was resolved by cleaning up the room and to have additional ventilation installed at a later date.
The third, and largest issue, was discovered in the crawlspace below the activity room, storage room and adjoining kitchen.
The water damage found there had created an inviting environment for mold.
The area has been sealed off since it was discovered in August 2012 and a negative air HEPA unit was installed.
The cost for mold remediation is yet to be determined as the district negotiates with the lone contractor who applied for the contract, said Brown.
This incident has made the maintenance department even more vigilant in monitoring our aging school facilities.
“We’ve stepped up the monitoring of our plumbing equipment and making sure it doesn’t happen again as best we can,” said Brown, adding these things will happen in an old building like Hume Elementary, which is nearly 100 years old.