District: 6 Williamsport school buildings contain mold

Mold has been found in four primary, one intermediate and the high school in the city school district, officials said Wednesday.

Affected buildings include:

• Cochran Primary

• Hepburn-Lycoming Primary

• Jackson Primary

• Stevens Primary

• Curtin Intermediate

• Williamsport Area High School.

Three buildings are considered to be free of mold — Lycoming Valley Intermediate School, Williamsport Area Middle School and the District Service Center.

“Air quality testing has confirmed these (three) buildings continue to be safe for occupancy,” the Williamsport Area School District said. “(The) other school buildings where mold was visibly present and/or detected continue to be monitored, cleaned and tested.”

The problems were first identified when cleaning staff discovered visible mold in Cochran and Jackson primary schools in mid-August, which led the district to examine all buildings. Inevitably, mold was found in some places in the other six buildings.

“Record amounts of rain and extensive humidity in mid-August created significant levels of moisture in our buildings that resulted in mold-related issues,” the district said. “The district is working diligently to remediate this issue.”

The district said it remained proactive throughout the summer, but the area had unexpected levels of rain.

“Our district buildings remained opened and were appropriately air conditioned and ventilated throughout the summer, as maintenance and custodial crews worked to prepare them for a new year,” the district said. “However, the extreme, unprecedented weather pattern we experienced late this season caused these unique conditions to occur.”

The restoration companies ServPro and Mellon Restoration are working to eradicate the mold and ensure that building conditions are safe for students and staff.

“In addition to these specialized cleaning services, the district also is working with another third-party company, Compliance Management International Inc., to test the air quality in all buildings to verify our students and staff have a safe return to the new year,” the district said.

On Monday, a district spokesman said the new year will start a week later, on Sept. 4, so that the crews have time to rid the buildings of the mold.

Superintendent Dr. Timothy Bowers said the district’s website will be updated with more answers as more questions arise via the district’s social media sites.