Four Kenyon Woods classrooms closed due to mold

 
 
Updated 9/21/2018 4:10 PM
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  • Four classrooms at Kenyon Woods Middle School in South Elgin have been closed through Wednesday due to mold. District officials will be doing remediation work over the weekend into next week.

    Four classrooms at Kenyon Woods Middle School in South Elgin have been closed through Wednesday due to mold. District officials will be doing remediation work over the weekend into next week. Daily Herald File Photo

Four classrooms at Kenyon Woods Middle School in South Elgin will be closed through Wednesday for mold remediation and air quality testing, officials said Friday.

Teachers and students are being moved out of the classrooms during remediation work and until moisture levels are lower. Though the risk of harm is low, officials said they want to give the plant operations team time to thoroughly fix the issue, according to an email sent to parents.

The entire building was inspected two weeks ago by a third-party expert. No mold was found and air quality was normal, Principal Lisa Olsem wrote in the email.

"We have been monitoring the possibility of mold closely with the help of staff," Olsem wrote. "We will work to remediate the mold as quickly as possible. We will conduct laboratory air quality testing test with a third-party expert. We will update staff and parents again on Monday."

Officials found the mold after a teacher first noticed it in a cabinet drawer a few days ago and notified the principal.

The district conducted mold remediation at the school over the summer. Temperatures within the school have been warm in the past few days due to unseasonably hot and humid weather, which could have contributed to mold forming, said John Heiderscheidt, U-46 director of school safety and culture.

Remediation work will start Friday after school, he added.

"We acted as quickly as we could," Heiderscheidt said. "We test for mold periodically. We are being vigilant so our custodial staff and all of our staff are more acutely aware. We're really thankful for vigilant staff for keeping an eye on things."

The district's plant operations team has been monitoring the situation closely. Ten rooms and common areas were inspected Thursday night when workers detected a light-colored mold in four classrooms at Kenyon Woods. Nothing was found in the other six rooms or in the common areas. Those four classrooms were closed Friday and students were relocated to other rooms, officials said.

Olsem noted the situation at Kenyon Woods is different from the mold that closed Coleman Elementary School in Elgin, which reopened for classes Wednesday after being closed for five days while remediation occurred.

"This is very different from Coleman, where mold was located in common areas and multiple classrooms," Olsem wrote. "Over the weekend, the building will receive another complete inspection as was done two weeks ago. These findings will be shared with staff as soon as possible. We will be working very hard over the next days for remediation of the mold found and check the rest of the building. Dehumidifiers will be added to the building this weekend and may remain in the building next week."

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