A mold problem has canceled classes at Montevallo Elementary. Black mold can cause or aggravate some conditions. It can spark an allergic illness and can trigger asthmatic episodes. Some strains of mold can cause severe infections. It's why Shelby County Schools is taking the mold problem seriously.
Crews are working at Montevallo Elementary right now and will focus on an intensive clean-up effort for the next few weeks, especially where new traces of mold were found.
"It was kind of shocking." Erin Sorensen has read the letter Shelby County Schools sent home with Montevallo Elementary students. "They said they tested other areas that they hadn't initially and still found mold spores. It concerns me." She says the district is doing the right thing, closing school early, and keeping her daughter and other children away from all the cleaning going on.
Cindy Warner with Shelby County Schools says "It allows us to get everybody out of the building and do the type of cleaning we feel will be necessary to be in good shape when we come back from Christmas break.
ERG Environmental recently did room to room air quality testing before re-opening the fifth grade wing, which had been closed. It detected trace amounts of mold spores in an office area, fourth grade hallway and a classroom. ERG says the results are within acceptable levels, but school leaders say they are not taking any chances and are closing school Thursday.
Warner says "According to our environmental contractor, they are still saying the building is safe. These levels were trace amounts of mold, which is also the black mold that is sometimes a concern.
School leaders say there is some belief clean-up efforts may have stirred up the mold spores. Still, some parents are worried the clean-up won't be enough to solve the problem. Additional air quality tests will be done before the school re-opens. Montevallo Elementary will not re-open until January second at the earliest. The school district will put the exact return date on its web site. Right now.. it is unclear about how the school will make up the missed days.