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Mold Found in Greenacres School Classrooms and Basement

water inflitration(Updated November 23, 2017) Confirming what many have suspected for years, the Scarsdale School District released recent findings of mold testing at Greenacres School in an email to parents from School Superintendent Dr. Thomas Hagerman and Assistant Superintendent Stuart Mattey on Wednesday November 22nd.  The report says the testing was done on October 11 and October 28, 2017.

Interior mold scores are measured in relation to mold scores on the outside of a building. Mold scores greater than 150 indicate a moderate probability that mold is originating inside the building and mold scores greater than 250 indicate a high probability.

According to the report, fungal growth has occurred in the basement of the school.In most samples from the basement, the mold score was 300, which is the maximum value on this scale, indicating the highest probability that the mold is from an interior source.

The humidity in the basement ranged from 63% to 71% and in the classrooms from 43% to 53%.  In the gym humidity reached 65%.  These readings were taken when the temperature in the rooms were in the 50's.  According to the report, "Humidity levels greater than 30% increase the potential for mold growth, and high humidity, 60% or greater can cause biological contamination."

Samples collected in the psychologists office, classroom 7A and 9 had scores of ranging from 164-204.

In classroom 2B, 22 and 35, the teacher's lounge, the scores range from 191-250 which indicate a moderate probability that the spores originated inside the classrooms. Mold was found on all three levels of the school.

It should be noted that the building does not have a full concrete foundation. Some areas have dirt crawl spaces and it appears that the rooms above these crawl spaces are the areas with the mold. The report done by Regulatory Compliance of Thornwood does not include testing of the dirt crawl spaces or information on how mold could be remediated there. Dehumidifiers were installed in the basement on one side of the school but these do not seem to be effective at eradicating mold in that area.greenacresrendering

The letter says, "Because there were some elevated scores for mold, the District will be following all the recommendations in the last few paragraphs of the abstract. This work will be performed over the Thanksgiving weekend. Re-testing of the affected areas will be scheduled for next week. We will also be sharing these results once in hand."

After years of hearing anecdotal reports about mold in the school, Scarsdale10583 sent a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request to Assistant Superintendent Mattey on July 21, 2017 requesting environmental reports, work orders for mold remediation and complaints from parents, students and teachers about excess moisture or mold from 1996 to 2015. The FOIL request was acknowleged, but despite multiple reminders to Mattey and School Board President William Natbony to date no information has been received. Their lack of response is against the law.  You can see the FOIL request here.

The Board of Education and Administration are in the process of finalizing plans for a major bond referendum to fund an addition to Greenacres School that leaves the older of the portions intact. If the mold is deemed to be an issue, they may need to rethink the proposal.

See the report on the district website here:

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS

Comments   

#20 D Smith 2017-11-26 15:56
Getting FOIL requests fulfilled from Village Hall is challenging, but much easier than from the Scarsdale School Administration. Dr. Hagerman interferes in the process and has argued against fulfilling one of my requests.

Quoting Greenacres Mom:
The last thing the Board of Ed can afford is to jeopardize the bond vote by failing to respond to a FOIA request. It’s already shameful that Greenacres residents need to use FOIA to force transparency. It’s even worse that the we have to now file an appeal for lack of response, a breach under the law. Is it that the facts are at odds with the “spin” the PR firm advises be out there?
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#19 Greenacres Mom 2017-11-25 21:40
The last thing the Board of Ed can afford is to jeopardize the bond vote by failing to respond to a FOIA request. It’s already shameful that Greenacres residents need to use FOIA to force transparency. It’s even worse that the we have to now file an appeal for lack of response, a breach under the law. Is it that the facts are at odds with the “spin” the PR firm advises be out there?
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#18 Joanne Wallenstein 2017-11-25 03:46
Can you provide more information about the 2 other mold remediations? When were they done? Where are the reports?
Thank you,
Joanne

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#17 Where is the New York State Education Dept? 2017-11-24 19:54
Um...hello? Clearly we can’t rely on Scarsdale to keep our children safe. Where is the New York State Department of Education and/or Health? Do they follow up on any of this mold stuff? Do they even know about this? What about Fox Meadow, Edgewood, Heathcote and QR?
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#16 Parent 2017-11-24 17:41
These findings are typical in buildings with mold issues. They are not saying that these problems are typical overall. Mold is really dangerous. I am worried about what will happen when they open the walls of this building and mold spores spread. Is the district going to test for mold regularly during and after construction? I would like to see the district show that they can keep this building mold free before we dump $40mm into it. This is now going to be the 3rd mold remediation that this building will undertake.
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#15 Also 2017-11-24 16:55
Also, do you think any of these places in the past 20 years decided to spend $40 million without solving the problem?

Quoting Ga:
It is a scary headline, but you forgot to mention this important sentence from the IAQ report: " The bioaerosol results for Greenacres School are typical of findings that RegCom has identified in other public schools, hospitals etc. over the past 20 years."
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#14 The Link 2017-11-24 16:38
Quoting Ga:
It is a scary headline, but you forgot to mention this important sentence from the IAQ report: " The bioaerosol results for Greenacres School are typical of findings that RegCom has identified in other public schools, hospitals etc. over the past 20 years."


Although she did not specifically mention your quotation she did publish the link. There are major problems with Greenacres in the linked report.In my opinion you are focusing on a detail where in fact there is substance reported here on the danger of mold. In addition the illegal withholding of information is another major part of this report. Mattey and Natbony are way out of line.
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#13 Ga 2017-11-24 15:38
It is a scary headline, but you forgot to mention this important sentence from the IAQ report: " The bioaerosol results for Greenacres School are typical of findings that RegCom has identified in other public schools, hospitals etc. over the past 20 years."
Quote
#12 FOIL 2017-11-24 08:54
Have they tested in the past and not revealed the results? You state it is against the law so how do you compel them to respond? I hope they will just respond to your request rather that waste time and money resisting. It seems clear that they don’t want this information to be in the public domain but it seems ridiculous that we spent all this time discussing new build versus refurbishment without vital information. It is clear that mold causes symptoms of asthma in certain children. I have a child who first developed asthma while at Greenacres and while the school mold may or may not have had an impact we deserve to have the information- it is not Mattey’s to hold onto.
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#11 Parent 2017-11-23 11:17
I thought that there was dehumidificatio n in the basement and that it would prevent the mold growth. At least now we know why they want to move the kids out of that basement.

Also, if they knew about this in October, why wasn't it dealt with immediately? They had kids in rooms with mold for at least an extra month. Isn't this negligent?
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