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North Allegheny relocates students in 4 classes at McKnight Elementary after mold discovered

Tony LaRussa
| Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018, 2:15 p.m.

The North Allegheny School District this morning notified parents of children at McKnight Elementary School that students in four classes will temporarily be relocated to another part of the building after a non-hazardous form of mold was discovered.

The notice emailed to parents said air quality tests were conducted on Aug. 21 after the mold was discovered on the surfaces in three classrooms.

Test results conducted by a private contractor determined that the mold was “well within the normal and acceptable range” and similar to the level of mold found in outside air, according to the letter, which also was posted on the district’s website .

The rooms were cleaned in preparation for the start of classes on Aug. 23. But the day after students returned, the same type of mold was found on surfaces in three other classrooms.

District maintenance employees cleaned all the rooms and inspected vents on the buildings lower level over the weekend, according to the letter.

The contractor, AGX Inc. Environmental Consultants, conducted additional air quality testing on Monday and determined that four rooms had elevated spore levels of Aspergillus, a non-hazardous allergy mold that is commonly present in indoor and outdoor environments.

The discovery of additional mold prompted district officials to move the students to other classrooms in the building until the problem is resolved.

In addition to cleaning, fans and dehumidifiers were placed in the four rooms and an air scrubber will be employed to help purify the air. Carpeting is being replaced in four of the rooms were mold was found.

AGX performed additional air sample tests in a dozen other areas throughout the building and determined that air quality was within normal range and that there are no increases in mold spores present, according to an update emailed to parents this afternoon .

The company was scheduled to return the building today to conduct another series of tests to determine if efforts to remove mold are working.

Mold has affected the start of classes in a number of schools district’s in Western Pennsylvania this year, including Hance Elementary in the Pine-Richland School District.

Tony LaRussa is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tony at 724-772-6368 or tlarussa@tribweb.com or via Twitter @TonyLaRussaTrib.

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