Written by Lynne Richmond
Mold was found in carpets and other surfaces in Ridgeway Elementary School this summer, prompting a cleanup in the school on Ridgeway Road in Manchester, according to Superintendent David Trethaway.
This is the second summer where mold has been a problem in the district, he said.
"We attributed it to the way the carpets were cleaned," said Trethaway. "It is the worst time to clean—summer—using a wet technique and not enough drying."
Trethaway said rather than trying to clean the mold from the carpets, they will replace the carpets in nine rooms and install tiles in their place. They also will remove 150 desks found with mold and replace them with all plastic or metal desks.
In addition, 18 vanities in the school rooms will be replaced.
"We want to make sure the stuff we have is not wood because it's more susceptible," said Trethaway.
Trethaway said they've placed dehumidifiers throughout the building and air scrubbers in certain rooms.
"Our guys are doing a great job - they're working very hard," said Trethaway. "All tests are coming out fine."
Servpro, a mold mitigation and remediation firm, will retest the entire school before school is back in session, according to Trethaway. And, in an effort to avoid mold problems in the future, he said they will do things differently moving forward.
"We have changed our policy and will do dry cleaning," he said. "And as carpets age, we will replace them with tile."
There also was some mold found in the middle school, said Trethaway, but they put the dehumidifiers on right away and there no more problems.
Business Administrator Craig Lorentzen said some of the costs of the project will be recouped through insurance and some of the work had already been planned so was provided for in the school budget.