Parents express confidence Hinsdale Middle School problems being addressed

Sophia Liston, an eighth-grader at Hinsdale Middle School, said Monday she was glad to have the extra days off school as a mold problem is addressed, though she realizes the days will have to be made up in the future.

“The last day we had school, Thursday, there were fans everywhere and you couldn’t even hear the teachers,” Sophia said.

Before then, she had never noticed mold or an unusual smell in the school

“For me, there never was a problem,” Sophia said.

Now, however, rumors are flying, she said. She has heard the school district is considering holding classes in the empty K-Mart store on Route 83.

Bridget McGuiggan, director of communications for Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills Elementary District 181, said district officials have considered other locations in the community to hold school, if the students cannot return to HMS soon and in lieu of cancelling classes. The former Kmart building was one of many that came up while they were brainstorming, she said.

Susan Harris, who has a sixth-grader at HMS, said she appreciates the day-to-day chronology of events the district is sending to the community.

“It’s very fact-based, which I like,” Harris said.

Harris wants to know “how deep the problems were. Is it an age and structure problem as opposed to weather-related?”

Harris’ son Cole uses the rooms where the problems occurred, such as the science room and music room, but had not noticed anything unusual prior to the pipes bursting.

If the School Board opts for more in-depth repairs that will keep the school closed for a longer period, Harris hopes more creative ways will be found for the students to spend their time, other than just staying home.

Some parents said they have confidence the district will handle the problem appropriately.

“They are absolutely on it,” said Rob Miller, who was having lunch at the Corner Bakery with his wife, Amanda, and their son Jay, an eighth-grader at HMS.

They have been getting regular updates from the school.

“The communication from the school has always been excellent,” Amanda Miller said. “I know they’ll do the right thing from a safety standpoint for the staff and the kids. He’s (Jay) been there two and a half years and he is getting a great education, with great kids and a marvelous staff.”

She is able to be home through Wednesday, so her son’s unexpected days off do not present a scheduling problem, she said.

The Millers do not plan to attend the emergency School Board meeting Monday night.

“I don’t feel I would have anything to add,” Amanda Miller said.

The Newlands, who were having lunch with their three kids, including their son Tray, a sixth-grader at HMS, said they did not plan to attend the meeting either.

“It would just be nasty,” Amy Newland said.

And neither she nor her children had noticed any damp or musty conditions in the school, she said.

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