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Mold outbreak settled before school resumed / August 28, 2013
After a mold outbreak this summer in the Bluestone High School library, the problem was cleared up and never posed an issue with the resumption of classes, said Wade Wilson, supervisor of maintenance for Mecklenburg County Public Schools on Tuesday.

Wilson said any mold issues were resolved before students returned to classes this year.

The spread of mold in the library stemmed from a couple of incidents that occurred earlier this year.

“Along about the first of May or around that time, we had a drain pan, which is up on the air conditioner — which is up on the stage area (library) that busted and dropped water on the floor,” Wilson explained. “We went over there and put a new pan on the air conditioner the next day, actually.”

Wilson said water on the carpet of the stage area was cleaned up and Service Solutions, the company that handles custodial duties for Mecklenburg County Schools, came in and shampooed the carpet on the stage area.

“The company cleaned all of that up and everything was fine,” he added.

Around July 4, somebody (Wilson is still unsure who) turned off the breaker for the air conditioner to the library. Wilson said he doesn’t believe this was intentionally done, but it set in motion a chain of events that caused mold to spread to some of the books in the library.

Wilson said that with no air conditioner and no air circulating in the library, mold started to spread.

“We (maintenance) went over and got the air conditioning fixed, and then we called Trane in to double check and make sure we had done it correctly,” he said.

Wilson said the Trane technicians told him they had done everything correctly. He noted the only thing Trane did was to adjust the airflow to make sure the system was bringing in the right amount of fresh air to the building.

“Service Solutions was great. They came in August, well the first of August and they cleaned all of the books and really everything with an anti-bacterial cleaner. They also set of foggers specifically for mold to eliminate any hidden mold.”

Wilson said the company even cleaned the tabletops, table legs, chairs – “Basically they cleaned everything that was in the library to make sure they had gotten all the mold.”

“They (Service Solutions) were super,” Wilson continued. “They really made sure that everything was truly clean. They are real professionals and I think they did a great job.”

Wilson said the library never had to shut down and there was no harm to any child because all of the work was handled before the kids ever returned to school.

He also noted the school librarian was very cooperative in the whole matter.

“I think the librarian may have gotten a little upset with it, and I don’t blame her – she works in there. But she was nice enough to stay out of the library until we could get all the work completed and make sure it was clean and safe.”

Concerning talk that the carpet needs to be replaced in the library for health reasons, Wilson said he had heard some conversations regarding possibly wanting to replace the carpet. But those conversations had nothing to do with the safety of the carpet that is still there now.

And he said if replacing the carpet were to ever occur, he would probably suggest, “getting a nice tile to replace the carpet – or something less absorbent and easier to keep clean.”

Wilson stated something new would be nice but it’s not related to any safety issues that he is aware of.

“I don’t know of anyone who has complained of being sick due to the mold that was present and to the best of my knowledge, everything is fine there,” he concluded. “But I want to assure everyone at no time were students or teachers in any danger regarding their health from the mold.”

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Has someone been in to actually test and make sure it's all gone? That could be a serious health hazard.

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