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Mold Remediation In Progress At Ringing

Mold spores as observed under a microscope (inset above) and Ringing Rocks Elementary School

POTTSTOWN PA – Removal of mold found embedded on the underside of the gymnasium roof deck at Ringing Rocks Elementary School, and preventative measures to avoid further mold growth, are expected to be completed before the Kauffman Road school opens next week (Sept. 8, 2015), according to Pottsgrove School District Director of Facilities And Physical Plants Jeffrey Cardwell.

The work also will cost far less than anticipated, he noted.

Mold remediation began last Tuesday (Aug. 25) by a qualified contractor, Cardwell said in a report to the district Board of School Directors. The district continues to monitor for “high humidity levels” that may have contributed to the potential air quality health problem discovered during late July, he added.

For people sensitive to molds, exposure can cause symptoms such as nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation, the federal Centers for Disease Control says. Those with serious mold allergies may have more severe reactions.

The contractor, a ServPro franchisee, is providing “all-inclusive” remediation work that involves sealing off the area to avoid contamination elsewhere, successfully removing existing mold and cleaning affected areas of the deck, and then painting them with an anti-microbial coating that should prevent the mold’s return, Cardwell said.

The district, during the board’s Aug. 11 meeting, initially estimated the project cost at about $45,000. Directors quickly authorized administrators to solve the problem. Due to the emergency nature of the health threat, hiring a contractor did not require bidding, Solicitor Marc Davis advised.

As it turns out, Cardwell said, the work is being completed at a total cost of $18,700, or $26,000 less than approved.

An update on the remediation may be available during the board’s scheduled Sept. 8 meeting at 7:30 p.m. in Pottsgrove Middle School. It is free to attend and open to the public.

Related (to the Pottsgrove Board of School Directors’ Aug. 25 meeting):

Mold photo from the Centers For Disease Control

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