Junior high school in Calumet City remains closed over mold

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CALUMET CITY, Ill. -- Wentworth Junior High School in Calumet City will remain closed until at least Friday after it tested positive for mold.

To be safe, all classes were canceled in the district Monday, which was supposed to be the first day back.

The superintendent of Calumet City School District No. 155, Dr. Troy Paraday, issued the following statement:

The health and safety of all our students and staff is our highest priority.  In that regard, it was brought to the District’s attention that mold may have been detected in the Wentworth Junior High Building.  Once the concern became known, the District took immediate steps to assess the concern and this phase is ongoing.  We take this matter very seriously and are committed to taking action to remediate the concern to preserve the highest standard for our learning environments.  As an abundance of caution, all of the District’s buildings were closed to students today.  Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 22, 2018, Woodrow Wilson Elementary and Wentworth Intermediate buildings will reopen for school.  The Wentworth Junior High will remain closed. The District will release further information as it becomes available.

Exposure to mold can cause nasal stuffiness, eye irritation or wheezing and those with allergies to mold it can cause more severe reactions.

The school district says the mold was caused by the building's air conditioning system.

Wentworth Junior High will remain closed through at least Thursday.

Superintendent Paraday issued this updated statement on Wednesday:

This is an update to the statement released by the District on August 21, 2018 regarding a report that mold may have been detected in the Wentworth Junior High building.  The assessment phase, which included air quality testing and an inspection of the building, classrooms and mechanical systems, is now complete.  The District has learned the air quality testing concluded that the mold level inside the building is less than the mold level outside.  The inspection revealed the presence of mold in localized areas in the building.  The District has also learned that the mold was the result of a mechanical malfunction of the air conditioning system that occurred over the weekend.  In an effort to maintain the highest standard for the District’s learning environments, the District has secured the services of trained mold remediation specialists to conduct a thorough cleaning of the areas of concern.  As an abundance of caution, a thorough cleaning of surfaces throughout the building will also be done to eliminate any concerns that may have existed.  In addition, air quality testing will be completed again once all remediation and cleaning has been done. The Wentworth Junior High building is closed today, Wednesday and will likely remain closed through Thursday, August 23, 2018.  The District will release further information about this matter and reopening of the building as it becomes available.

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