Archived Story

Parents complain about mold in school

Published 1:33pm Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Macomb bought four-month HEPA air purifiers for some of the classrooms, and said the filters were “red” within a month’s time.

“It’s a toxic waste dump,” Burns said. “They want to make it as if it’s a custodial issue.”

Ferguson said the SCBOE’s main focus is the fifth-grade wing until it’s resolved.

“There are other things we’re trying to do to help with the overall cleanliness of the school and air quality of the school,” Ferguson said. “Our system custodial crew and supervisor are working in the building after hours. We put (the supervisor) in there every night for two or three weeks. We are still going to use him, which helps support (the school’s) custodial staff and their efforts in cleaning in the building.”

The parents also expressed concern about asbestos in the school, but Ferguson the asbestos in the school is not an issue, as it is not exposed.

“There is asbestos in the building. There is an asbestos report in the principal’s office. It does show that there are some areas of the building,” Ferguson said.

“It’s not friable, which means it’s not loose. It is either in a hard state or encapsulated. We meet all federal regulations. It’s just one more term that, when used loosely that ‘the schools are full of asbestos,’ it causes concern among parents.

“We’ve got several schools in Shelby County that have asbestos, but it’s not friable,” he added. “We are inspected every three years by outside sources, and we conduct inspections every six months. We know where the asbestos is, so our obligation is that nothing has changed.”

Ferguson said the school system will continue to address issues as they arise, but there are not plans to renovate the elementary school.

“There are ongoing plans to look at needs of the school and address time,” he said. “Montevallo Elementary is just like Valley Elementary, Calera Elementary or Thompson Intermediate. These are all schools that are very similar in age across our county. They were all built about the same time. They have very similar characteristics. They are all good, wonderful buildings — good, solid buildings.”

Gallagher said the MES PTO “has a loud voice” and “will not stop” until the school has a safe, clean environment.

“We need a detailed plant of what they plan to do for us. We want it now and we can’t wait for four months for them to decide. I don’t know how they can sleep at night,” Gallagher said.

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