Five MES classrooms to be relocated

Published 3:37 pm Thursday, September 27, 2012


MONTEVALLO – Five classrooms at Montevallo Elementary School will be temporarily relocated to portable classrooms to allow cleanup efforts to continue due to issues with mold, according to a press release from the Shelby County Schools.

Deputy Superintendent Tom Ferguson announced Sept. 27 that the relocation was prompted by the results of air quality testing that was conducted at the school by ERG Environmental, according to a press release.

According to the release, the report indicates that there is one classroom with the presence of Stachybotrys mold spores, which are normally caused by moisture. In this case, recent heavy rainfall created a drainage problem, which led to the moisture issue. The classroom, located on the fifth grade hallway, will need to have additional mold remediation cleanup in order to correct the problem. Four classrooms located on the same hallway are also being relocated as a precaution.

“We immediately removed students today from this one classroom and relocated them to another area of the building,” Ferguson wrote in the release. “We also have ordered five portable classrooms that will be delivered tomorrow. We hope that those portables will be set up and ready to use by Monday or Tuesday.”

According to the release, Ferguson said a construction project would be started in order to permanently correct the drainage issue causing the moisture problem. District officials said the portable classrooms will not only provide a safer environment for the students, but it will also protect their instructional time by limiting their exposure to cleanup and construction noise. The children will be relocated to their permanent classrooms once all the issues have been fixed and the air quality is retested and deemed to be at acceptable levels.

Ferguson said the report also indicates cleanup is needed in three additional classrooms, the kitchen, lunchroom and gym areas due to the presence of mold spores, which are higher than the baseline number taken from outdoor air samples. These areas of the building showed evidence of mushroom mold spores, which are found in the natural environment from lawns and plants and are probably present in the school because of opened doors, windows, etc., and, according to the report, typically cause no health issues, the release stated.