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OCHS Awaits Final Test Results After Mold Cleanup

Ocean City High School remains open to students and faculty.

Environmental cleanup crews finished work removing mold from parts of Ocean City High School on Monday, and school officials are awaiting the results of final air and surface testing.

Superintendent Kathleen Taylor said on Monday that the school hopes to see test results returned on Tuesday.

Coastal Environmental Compliance and Servpro were contracted to complete the mold removal work, and air scrubbers were the only equipment still operating on Monday afternoon.

After the discovery of mold, the school restricted students and faculty from entering entering a set of classrooms, including art and music rooms, and the school auditorium on the first day of classes Thursday, Sept. 6. The entire school closed on Friday as the cleanup continued.

Visual inspections and air sampling determined it was safe for students to return to class on Monday. .

Taylor said it was the first time in the eight years since the new high school was constructed that mold was found in classrooms. The district is in litigation with a general contractor after seeing water bubble up from the floor in the auditorium and twice cause other mold issues.

Taylor said the new problem was first discovered last week in the auditorium, where a white fuzz was noticed against the room's wood panels. She said teachers also noticed mold when they opened drawers in classrooms.

What was discovered was a common surface mold (not black mold) that had been there for no more than five to seven days, environmental consultants told Taylor.

She said extremely high humidity, low temperatures and summer programs opening doors to the outside air contributed to the problem.

In a letter to school parents, Taylor said the school followed guidelines established by the Public Employees Occupational Safety and Health Program (PEOSH) and took every precaution to protect the health and safety of students and faculty.

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