Mold remediation project underway at Broadway Elementary School

For the Miami Valley Today

TIPP CITY — Crews from Environmental Doctor started the mold remediation process at Broadway Elementary School. They expect to complete the project within one week.

“Toward the end of the school year, a teacher noticed discoloration of a corkboard in her classroom after removing papers and other materials and immediately contacted the building principal, who instructed her to contact me, “said Kim Hagen, business operations coordinator for Tipp City Schools.

Upon inspection of the classroom, the district hired Environment Doctor to test surfaces and air quality for mold.

Environmental Doctor conducted a visual inspection and surface sampling on the second-floor classroom areas in the right-hand wing of the building. The purpose of the visit was to assess areas of visible water damage and related contamination above classroom windows. Crews did not detect any unusual odors at the time of the inspection.

They noticed minor contamination and water damage on wall tile materials above the windows in four upstairs classrooms. The firm inspected other areas on exterior walls, which were deemed visibly clean.

According to written communication to the district, “All wall materials tested were dry at the time of inspection, with a moisture content of 6% to 8%. The root cause of the visible damage and contamination where present appeared to be past leaks around (primarily from the top side at the lentils), the glass block windows in the classrooms, the glass block being behind the wall tile on the exterior walls in areas totaling roughly 5’ x 26’ in each of the rooms in question. “

For analysis, Environmental Doctor sent samples to EMLab P & K Laboratories, an accredited independent microbiology lab.

Superintendent Mark Stefanik said Environmental Doctor recommended having the wall tile and corkboard covering the glass block removed in four classrooms and having those areas remediated by a certified microbial remediation professional. He added, “To be proactive, the district opted to remediate 10 second-floor classrooms.”

The laboratory analysis of the samples indicated the presence of the Marker Type Mold Spore Stachybotrys from an ongoing or intermittent moisture issue — the leaks around the windows — being concealed and going undetected for a length of time before being discovered.

The firm further explained the presence of Stachybotrys “as a ‘quantitative’ analysis, and it is very relative. It is referring only to the amount of visible contamination on the adhesive surface of the testing strip itself, which is only about 1” x 1” at the most. The total area that we observed and sampled was less than 1 square foot!”

Hagen explained, “The firm took two samples to avoid any ‘false positive’ issue or any question that can arise when they do only one of anything. The second sample is called a Verification Test to check and confirm the first sample in the same location.”

Environmental Doctor applauded Tipp City Schools for being highly proactive in its approach to this situation to preserve the safety of the classrooms in question. This approach will help to prevent any potential future issues related to this condition.

The firm will return to retest the area after the remediation is complete.

“Because of the information from an observant teacher, we were able to catch this problem in its early stages,” said Stefanik.

The cost to remediate ten classrooms is $19,200.