Around the clock work on Hinsdale Middle School mold problem

Chuck Fieldman
cfieldman@pioneerlocal.com | @chuckwriting
Jan. 21 10:18 p.m.
HMS timeline July 2012: Buildings and Grounds Department discovers mold in upstairs bathroom, wall between choir room and music room, in custodial closet and in other bathrooms. Drywall replaced, air quality tested, leaking pipe repaired and caulking added. August 2013: Mold discovered on drywall in classrooms 223, 225 and 228. Removed and replaced. October 2013: Previously planned work to remove and replace wet drywall completed. Engineering firm review discussed. December 2013: Air quality tests conducted and find air quality well within acceptable guidelines.) Jan. 4: Leaking water pipe found in music room. Later that night, pipe in sprinkler system springs leak. Disaster recovery company assists with cleanup, dehumidifying and installation of filters. Jan. 5 and 6: School is closed due to extreme cold weather. Clean-up continues. Jan. 8: Water pipe breaks in room 216, causing additional water damage to music room. Some classrooms unusable. Jan. 9: As outdoor temperatures rise, water drips from roof onto ceiling of the second floor. Jan. 10: Integrity Environmental Services, Inc. conduct an air quality test. Results were received Jan. 16, show air quality to be well within acceptable guidelines. Jan. 13: Two staff members address School Board about student and staff health concerns. Board approves an Educational Adequacy Analysis of the school. Jan. 16: SERVPRO tests wall for wetness and removes drywall, identifies possible mold growth. Administration cancels after-school activities and closes school for following day. Jan. 17: Engineer identifies a water leak in main water line coming into the building. Water shut off. Jan. 18: Results of Jan. 16 mold test received and show low concentrations of mold spores on the drywall and surface samples tested. The SERVPRO staff continues to clean and sealed areas to prevent future mold growth, but determine more time is needed. Administration announces school closed until at least Jan. 22. Jan. 20: School Board meets in emergency session to approve additional work at the school. Source: Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills Elementary District 181

SERVPRO, the company handling the mold cleanup work at Hinsdale Middle School is working round the clock with about 40 workers in the building until work is completed.

The lone breaks from workers being involved in the cleanup process will come during times they are waiting for equipment to complete needed tasks, said a SERVPRO spokesman.

The Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills Elementary District 181 Board Jan. 20 unanimously approved spending $384,512 for duct work cleaning and baseboard removal measures recommended by Integrity Environmental Services and SERVPRO. Integrity is handling the testing both the air and surfaces inside HMS.

It was originally hoped classes might resume this week, but progress reports late last week changed the timetable with Monday being the earliest day for reopening, with a possible open house this Sunday for parents.

Drywall on the second floor that showed any type of mold has been replaced, and mold discovered on walls as the baseboard was removed also has been treated, and new insulation and microbial gyp board has been installed, Superintendent Renee Schuster wrote in an update to the community.

HMS students have missed three days of school more than other students in the district. Specific plans for making up lost days will be made in the future.

Kevin Russell, District 181’s assistant superintendent of learning, said missed days could be made up President’s Day, Feb. 17; spring break, March 31 through April 4; Good Friday, April 18; and Grading Day, June 2, all of which are listed on the district calendar as “not in attendance days.”

The school calendar also has June 6 and June 9-12 as emergency days at the end of the school year. The board has the option to not make up the two days missed by the entire district earlier this month because the district calendar is two days longer than what is required by the Illinois State Board of Education. But now all schools have been closed an additional two days due to this week’s weather.

HMS timeline July 2012: Buildings and Grounds Department discovers mold in upstairs bathroom, wall between choir room and music room, in custodial closet and in other bathrooms. Drywall replaced, air quality tested, leaking pipe repaired and caulking added. August 2013: Mold discovered on drywall in classrooms 223, 225 and 228. Removed and replaced. October 2013: Previously planned work to remove and replace wet drywall completed. Engineering firm review discussed. December 2013: Air quality tests conducted and find air quality well within acceptable guidelines.) Jan. 4: Leaking water pipe found in music room. Later that night, pipe in sprinkler system springs leak. Disaster recovery company assists with cleanup, dehumidifying and installation of filters. Jan. 5 and 6: School is closed due to extreme cold weather. Clean-up continues. Jan. 8: Water pipe breaks in room 216, causing additional water damage to music room. Some classrooms unusable. Jan. 9: As outdoor temperatures rise, water drips from roof onto ceiling of the second floor. Jan. 10: Integrity Environmental Services, Inc. conduct an air quality test. Results were received Jan. 16, show air quality to be well within acceptable guidelines. Jan. 13: Two staff members address School Board about student and staff health concerns. Board approves an Educational Adequacy Analysis of the school. Jan. 16: SERVPRO tests wall for wetness and removes drywall, identifies possible mold growth. Administration cancels after-school activities and closes school for following day. Jan. 17: Engineer identifies a water leak in main water line coming into the building. Water shut off. Jan. 18: Results of Jan. 16 mold test received and show low concentrations of mold spores on the drywall and surface samples tested. The SERVPRO staff continues to clean and sealed areas to prevent future mold growth, but determine more time is needed. Administration announces school closed until at least Jan. 22. Jan. 20: School Board meets in emergency session to approve additional work at the school. Source: Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills Elementary District 181

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