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updated: 8/7/2012 12:29 AM

Who will pay for mold cleanup at St. Charles East rec center?

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Mold is never a welcome sight, especially at a school building that has history with the fungus.

But Jon Monken, executive director of the John B. Norris Recreation Center, believes its prognosis will be one of clean air in the very near future. But paying to clean the air remains a touchy subject.

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Monken has worked at the center, on the St. Charles East High School campus, for more than 20 years. He's seen its maintenance transition from the nonprofit recreation center to St. Charles Unit District 303, and Monken said he's never had any concerns about mold in the building or a leaky roof.

"It's the school district's facility now," he said. "I'm letting them handle it. I believe they'll have some answers by Thursday. They are giving me some pretty positive feelings that they've got things under control."

The racquetball courts where workers discovered the mold are sealed off, District 303 spokesman Jim Blaney said. A remediation team is in the process of uncovering walls and removing the mold.

"They think they have a pretty good handle on it, but they are still in the process of removing," Blaney said. "Then they have to make sure air quality is good. At that point we can talk about putting it all back together and what it's going to look like when it's all put back together."

The cost of that process, not to mention the remediation, won't have a bottom line until later, Blaney said.

That still leaves a big question about who will find the money for those eventual costs. Asked if the nonprofit recreation center was in a position to help pay for any of the remediation, Monken said he wasn't prepared to address that issue. "I'm just going to wait and see," Monken said. "That's not something that I want to step in."

District 303 Superintendent Don Schlomann didn't rule out the recreation center bearing some of the costs. But the relatively meager finances of the nonprofit are a major reason the school district took over the center's maintenance when costly pool repairs were needed a few years ago.

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