DuBOIS — DuBois Area High School students returned to school today, a week after the building was closed due to concerns about indoor air quality and mold. However, the DuBois Area Middle School is closed today due to similar indoor air quality concerns.
“Post remedial sampling results received from the environmental engineering firm of Mountain Research LLC. for the DuBois Area High School indicate that our high school can re-open,” according to an update posted on the DuBois Area School District website Wednesday afternoon. “Air scrubbers will remain in three rooms and the pool area today (Thursday) until test samples are returned.”
Remediation of all areas affected by mold was completed by Serv-Pro on Wednesday, the district stated.
“We are pleased to report the results of these tests indicate non-elevated levels of mold spores at DuBois Area High School,” according to the website. “The air quality has returned to normal indoor environmental quality and we will continue our monitoring efforts.”
Mountain Research LLC. has been retained to conduct additional site inspections and air quality testing throughout the district.
Late Wednesday night, the district’s website announced that the middle school would be closed today.
“Upon testing at the middle school, 12 rooms and the two cafeterias have been identified for remediation efforts at this point and time. As a result, the middle school will be closed until professional cleaning and dehumidification can occur. Mountain Research will complete the inspections of the remaining classrooms and collect air samples. Once the professional cleaning and dehumidification is completed, confirmatory air sampling will occur to ensure the cleaning was effective to address the air quality concerns,” according to the website.
The high school had been closed since Sept. 13 after mold was discovered in 14 classrooms, the swimming pool area, and the cafeteria. Students at the middle school and four elementary schools attended school as usual. Jeff Tech students and Penn State classes also continued as normal.
Luke Lansberry said the district’s plan is to contact the Pennsylvania Department of Education to explain what has happened and then wait to hear back from them with a response about making up the five missed days of school for high school students. Pennsylvania requires students to receive 180 days of classroom instruction.
“This may take awhile because there are many schools and districts currently experiencing this same situation throughout the Commonwealth,” Lansberry said. “The teams from both Mountain Research LLC. and Serv-Pro Cleaning Service have been outstanding and we are extremely fortunate to have them assist with our remediation efforts.”