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DTSD Works To Detect, Treat Suspected Mold

Logan Kreamer, Reporter

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When the staff of the Hershey Middle School (HMS) came upon mold on August 29th, 2018 Derry Township School District Superintendent Joe McFarland and Director of Buildings and Grounds Mark Anderson went into action.

The mold was found under one of the mats in the HMS mat room. Anderson described the cause for the mold as most likely being the cold pipes coming in contact with the warm mats.

Last year there was a mold problem in three different rooms in the middle school: 145, 147, and 149.

Anderson said, “We had [the affected rooms] all completely remediated.”

McFarland and Anderson explained the mold problems at HMS last year were due to the air handlers and moisture problems. The mold in both cases was found dead or harmless.

“We had those rooms closed, and moved the students out of there,” McFarland said about the mold problem last year.

The mold found was tested and discovered to be dead and harmless according to Anderson.

Anderson also commented on how he and his staff attempt to prevent and detect mold as early as possible, saying, “We use a firm out of Lancaster called ACIA. They do air and water samples every summer.”  ACIA is also used for any other cases of mold in both Hershey High School (HHS) and HMS.

In late August there was another suspected mold problem, but this time it was in HHS. There was an area on the ceiling tile area in the Gymnasium vicinity explained Jeffery Smith, Building Principal of HHS.

Smith said that it was found it in the summer when the extensive testing for mold was happening. ACIA tested it and found it to be dirt.

Anderson said, “Our air samples from the mat room came back as marginal, not as dangerous, not as bad, but as marginal.”

The samples taken from others sites of suspected mold also came back as either negative for mold or marginal.

Smith said that he tries to be as precautionary as he can to protect against mold. The other administrators agreed.

While DTSD budgets for regular testing, the discovery of suspected mold prompted extra testing.

“I would venture to say that on testing,” said Anderson, “not just the the normal testing over the summer, [the cost was] about $10-12,000.”

McFarland said his response to hearing about the mold was concern.  He knew they had to do something in order to keep the students safe.

“Anytime you hear [of mold] in school it’s concerning,” McFarland said. “But what I’ve learned is not to overreact and get the facts first.”

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DTSD Works To Detect, Treat Suspected Mold