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Mold found in portable classroom at Berkeley Co. school

September 08, 2011|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A dark, softball-size spot that was discovered above a door to a modular classroom at Martinsburg High School in the first week of classes tested positive for mold, Berkeley County Schools Superintendent Manny P. Arvon said Thursday.

Students were removed from the portable classroom space after the spot was reported on Aug. 24 and have not returned since, Arvon said.

He said the mold testing was done by Winchester Environmental Consultants Inc., which was hired by the school district to investigate.

School officials also contracted with a professional cleaning service to ensure the mold is safely removed, he said.

Once the structure is cleaned and deemed "perfectly" safe, the school district will make a decision on a future use for the building, Arvon said.

The mold is suspected to have been caused when the doorway area of the building got wet over the summer, he said. The mold that resulted went unnoticed until the third day of school.

"We have to make sure we are staying on top of these inspections," he said.

The entrance area of the modular structure did not have a canopy to shield it from moisture entering the building, while new modular facilities have a protective covering for the entrance, Arvon said.

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