High mold levels found in three rooms at Greencastle school, will remain closed until further notice

GREENCASTLE, Ind. -- After being closed for most of the week, tests from a Greencastle school came back positive for high levels of mold in at least three classrooms. 

Tzouanakis Intermediate School initially closed Tuesday and the district brought in multiple experts from HVAC and Moisture Control firms to conduct mold surface and air spore tests. 

After the initial tests, the district decided to close the school "until further notice" and relocate students to other buildings throughout the Greencastle Community School Corporation. 

READ | Greencastle school closed for mold testing "until further notice"

In a follow-up email sent to parents Thursday evening, Superintendent Jeff Hubble said the tests results had come back for the classrooms and three rooms "tested above outside mold spore counts."

Two of those three rooms have carpet and the school had that removed immediately. 

As soon as the cleaning process is complete, Supt. Hubble says all rooms will be chemically treated with electrified mold disinfectant. Their goal is to have the new testing done next Wednesday or Thursday. 

Students will continue attending classes at the relocation buildings until further notice. 

You can read the full letter from Superintendent Jeff Hubble to Tzouanakis parents below. 

Hello TZ Parents,

Thank you so much for your understanding and flexibility as we work through the issue at TZ.  We have made significant progress since my last communication to you. The results of the first mold spore test have come back.  Indiana standard requires the testing company, in our case Moisture Management, to take one outside air sample and two inside air tests.  We went beyond those requirements by completing one outside and eight inside air tests. To determine which rooms to be tested, we acted on teacher input.

Moisture Management delivered the samples to EMSL Analytical, Inc.  EMSL is an independent, certified testing lab. When the results came back last night, we spoke with the mold expert at Moisture Management to interpret the results.  Twenty-two mold spore types were analyzed . The one that caused concern is Aspergillus/Penicillium. Three rooms tested above outside mold spore counts. Two of the three rooms have carpet.  Today Hicks Flooring removed all classroom carpet and disposed of it as directed by Moisture Management. .

In addition to the air test, we also directed Moisture Management to perform three swab tests for surface mold.  These tests were conducted in the Strings room, the B Pod Unit Vent, and Mrs. Hendershot’s unit vent. All three tests came back with no concern.

Next steps:  (as recommended by Moisture Management and EPA Protocols):

  1. Scrub all unit vents with mold disinfectant - top grills where the air flows out into the room.  Overtime crews have completed cleaning of all unit vents in all classrooms.
  1. Clean all horizontal surfaces with mold disinfectant from the highest point to the lowest point (floor.)  As of this writing Pods A, B, C and all out-of-pod rooms down that hallway have been completed. Crews will continue the work throughout tonight.

As soon as the cleaning process has been completed, all rooms will be chemically treated with electrofied mold disinfectant and left undisturbed for 12 hours.  It is our plan to have this completed by Saturday at midnight. No one will enter the building on Monday, September 3, 2018 (Labor Day.) If the timeline is maintained, Moisture Management test ALL classrooms on Tuesday, September 4.  We hope to have results Wednesday or Thursday.

After speaking with building administration and staff this afternoon, we have agreed to continue in the current plan (relocated sites) until the all clear has been given, then we will return to operating as normal at TZ.  

I have contacted the Board of Health for assistance in verifying the process that we have taken is sound, provide us clear guidance, and complete their own tests to verify Moisture Management’s results.  A representative will be on site in the next two days.

Your flexibility and cooperation have been greatly appreciated and we thank you for your patience.

Jeff Hubble, Superintendent.

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