Air gets scrubbing after mold found in two Sparta schools

The Sparta Township Public School District will be scrubbing the air in two elementary schools this week after mold was discovered behind old HVAC units.

Superintendent Matthew Beck said mold was discovered behind six HVAC units while they were being replaced at the Alpine school, while a similar project was underway at Helen Morgan’s annex.

“Obviously it was caused by the HVAC units,” Beck said.

Beck said the district notified the community that the issue was being addressed immediately with guidance from environmental consultants.

The moldy plate has been removed, he said. Workers made sure to clean the beams behind them and then seal them properly to remove the mold from the building.

“There was never any reason to believe that the fungus had existed elsewhere outside the specific areas,” Beck said. “Obviously it was caused by the HVAC units.”

The district turned on air washers. Air scrubbing is recommended for 72 hours, but Beck said the district will scrub for 96 hours.

Once the air is scrubbed, the assumption is that there will be no more mold in the air, he said.

After scrubbing, the district will test the air quality to make sure it is free of mold.

Beck said the process was somewhat delayed because the company the district works with was using air scrubbers elsewhere in the province, but was expected to arrive in the district on Friday.

“From the moment we discovered the mold, we took it very seriously and made it a top priority at the time,” said Beck.

The district will also conduct additional air tests in those buildings outside the specified areas and will conduct the random air quality tests in other district buildings.

He also suggested making this an annual summer exercise.

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