East Pennsboro Area HS expected to be closed for weeks due to mold

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CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. – East Pennsboro School District Officials say efforts to eliminate a mold  problem will require the high school to be closed for an extended period of time.

District officials said they anticipate the high school building will need to be closed for at least three weeks while they work on re-insulating the pipes.

At West Creek Hills Elementary School, district officials are conducting an air quality test Sunday. Once they  get the results back, they hope West Creek and East Pennsboro Elementary will reopen Tuesday.

The middle school will remain closed until at least Wednesday. The district is removing mold from the building and will conduct another test to make sure the school can be reopened.

Parents are concerned that their children will have to make up these lost days.

For more details about the reopening of the schools, see the School Superintendent Dr. Jay Burkhart’s statement regarding the statuses of the buildings:

“Today the district administrative team met with representatives from Cumberland Analytical Laboratories, TJ & M, Heim Company, and East Pennsboro Township Officials. The group discussed the status of the district air quality concerns. Specifically, the steps the district will take to return all levels of mold to normal. The high school remediation project is expected to be completed this weekend. However, due to high levels of humidity in the building resulting from the lack of air conditioning, the building will need to remain closed for an extended period of time to complete the re insulation of the pipes. While we are unsure of the length of the closure, the district anticipates it to be at least three weeks. Once the building re insulation project is completed, the district will conduct air quality tests throughout the building. When the levels of mold are returned to normal, the district will reopen the building to regular operational hours.

The middle school will remain closed until at least Wednesday, August 31st. The reason for the closure is due to the mold spore detected at unusual level in the recent air quality test. In order to properly remove this spore from the building the district must conduct additional work on the air handling units on roof of the building. This work will be completed on Monday, August 29th. An air quality test will again be conducted on that same day and sent to the lab for analysis. If the results are normal, the middle school will reopen to students on Wednesday, August 31st.

The district is currently working on an alternative schedule with the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) for the high school and middle school students. At this time we do not have final approval. The district administration team is scheduled to speak with representatives from PDE at 10:30 A.M. on Monday, August 29th. Once we have a final approval on an alternative schedule we will communicate this at an informational meeting on Monday, August 29th from 6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M. in the auditorium of Eisenhower Elementary School, Camp Hill School District. The address is 340 N. 21st Street, Camp Hill, PA 17011. I apologize about the lack of specifics, but we have two options being proposed to the department of education.

We remain hopeful West Creek Hills Elementary will return to regular operational hours on Tuesday, August 30th. The cleaning and remediation of West Creek Hills will be completed this weekend. An air quality test will be taken in the area identified as having an elevated level of mold on Sunday, August 28th. The sample will be delivered to the lab on Monday morning August 29th. If the report indicates normal levels, West Creek Hills will reopen on Tuesday Morning, August 30th at the regular time. The administration will notify all members of the district as soon as the report is received. East Pennsboro Elementary will also reopen when West Creek Hills air quality results are returned to normal levels.

The district has lost several instructional days that will need to be made up. The following make up days will be proposed to the school board for approval: The first make up day will be Friday, September 2, 2016. The second make up day will be Monday, October 10, 2016. The third day make up day will be Friday, November 11, 2016. We will communicate any additional make up days as they are scheduled. The district understands these days will conflict with some family plans; however, we appreciate your understanding of the need to make up the lost instructional time.

I want to once again thank our district and community for your support during the challenging time.”

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