Hinsdale Middle School bill for mold, water issues soars to nearly $2.4 million

The cost of work to fix mold and water problems at Hinsdale Middle School is nearly $2.4 million. | File photo
The cost of work to fix mold and water problems at Hinsdale Middle School is nearly $2.4 million. | File photo

The bill to fix mold and water issues at Hinsdale Middle School has grown to nearly $2.4 million.

The Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills Elementary District 181 Board Feb. 24 approved spending nearly $385,000 for duct work cleaning and baseboard removal measures recommended by Integrity Environmental Services and Servpro, the two companies working to fix problems.

However, additional work was needed as the job continued, resulting in a bill of $2.39 million as of March 10, said Gary Frisch, assistant superintendent of business and operations.

“The job became bigger as they continued to find things once they started working in the building,” Frisch said, adding District 181’s insurance will cover about $469,000.

The District 181 Board approved a payment of $300,000 To Servpro March 10, but is holding off on any additional payment until a 70-page invoice can be reviewed.

“The district must pay its bills within 30 days, unless we reject something; this buys us time to do due diligence,” Frisch said. “We want to take a closer look at the certified payrolls as well as equipment and materials cost.”

Board member Gary Clarin said the $300,000 amount should be made as a “good-faith payment, but added the total bill seems “a little high.”

Mridu Garg, another board member, said she was surprised to see the large bill for work at HMS, but fellow board member Michael Nelson said there weren’t any viable options to having the work completed by Servpro.

“This was a crisis,” Nelson said. “We weren’t going to stop in the middle and get three quotes.”

While the cost has already reached nearly $2.4 million, problems in the building still exist, mainly with a roof that many believe is in need of replacement. Frisch said additional water leaks have been found and are the result of roof issues.

The District 181 Board and administration plan to discuss options and plans regarding roof after listening to a report from the district’s Facilities Committee at the April 7 board meeting.

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