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Landisville Middle School to open school year as scheduled

Moldy Macro

LANCASTER COUNTY — UPDATE: The school year will begin as scheduled at Landisville Middle School.

PREVIOUSLY:  Yes, another Lancaster County school district is dealing with mold problems.

This time, it’s in the Hempfield School District, where staff members at Landisville Middle School discovered the presence of mold on hard surfaces like doors and desks in a number of classrooms, a district spokesperson told FOX43 on Wednesday.

At this point, the district hopes that classes will begin as scheduled on Thursday.

A final decision is expected tonight, after the district learns the results of an air sample test conducted in the school on Tuesday.

While they hope classes begin at the normal time, district officials are advising parents to make alternative childcare plan for their children in case the start of school is postponed.

A decision will be made by 8 p.m., the district says. The school district will inform parents of its plans by:

  • Automated phone calls using the contact information currently available in the school district’s Sapphire Community Web Portal
  • District website homepage
  • Mobile app notification
  • Social media announcements (LMS Facebook page, District Twitter)
  • Contacting local media outlets

Workers for a professional testing company brought in to inspect the school visually observed surface mold on the first floor of LMS during the air quality testing, the district says. This mold was identified only on hard surfaces, such as desks and doors, in several classrooms on the first floor. The school district says it has continued its preventative measures, which include:

  • Cleaning hard surfaces with anti-microbial cleaners
  • Installing monitoring devices for relative humidity
  • Purchasing lighting devices to conduct visual observations beyond the hard surfaces, including ceiling tiles in classrooms and other rooms in the building
  • Maintaining building temperatures at or above 72 degrees for consistency in keeping temperatures above the dew point
  • Utilizing High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) vacuums and dehumidifiers throughout the first floor

In the event that the test results from Tuesday show abnormal mold counts, the district says it will take recommendations from the professional testing company to complete any additional remediation efforts prior to opening school for LMS students.

“We recognize that there may be frustration given the fact that we are unable to relay a definitive decision on whether school at LMS will be in session on Thursday,” the district said in a message on its homepage. “However, we believe that making an informed decision based on the air quality test results is the best course of action.”

Hempfield is not the only Central Pennsylvania school district forced to deal with mold problems this summer. Smoketown Elementary and Brownstown Elementary in the Conestoga Valley School District were also affected, as were school buildings in the York SuburbanFairfieldEastern York and South Middleton school districts.