JWMS Staff, Students Relocated Due to Mold
The discovery of mold at John Winthrop Middle School (JWMS) has caused its student body and staff to relocate classes at Valley Regional High School (VHRS).
In a press release to tri-town families and Region 4 School District staff, Superintendent Brian White said the district administrative team is working with several stakeholders and officials “to develop a complete understanding of the situation and to develop short- and long-term planning to remediate mold concerns and to permanently address the root causes of the mold.”
According to the release, the Region 4 maintenance department discovered that the building’s HVAC system was the primary cause of the high humidity and moisture levels.
Going forward, White said the district will conduct extensive testing in all areas of the JWMS building to understand the extent of the mold. Region 4 will consult with EnviroMed Services and the Connecticut River Area Health District in order to “obtain and analyze data necessary to assess the scope of the current mold concerns” at JWMS.
The next steps for the process of remediation will include “continuing efforts to regulate building air quality and reduce humidity levels,” “working with an engineering firm to evaluate HVAC systems,” and “working with various service professionals to address root causes.”
VRHS will be able to provide “enough room to accommodate the additional students and staff from JWMS,” according to White.
“The students from John Winthrop Middle School are presently located in the 500 and 600 hallway classrooms,” he said. “This portion of the high school is relatively self-contained, allowing our middle school to function independently from the high school and maintain a separate schedule.”
While the middle school building will remain closed for public use during the remediation process, “the grounds of JWMS are safe and remain available for public use,” said White.
The superintendent said that information on the remediation and other aspects of the clean-up process at JWMS would be reported to the district through its Board of Education meetings. Information will be shared once enough is gathered at each stage of the process.
As far as other details, White said, “we will have a better understanding of the timeline and cost for this process to occur once our various professionals finalize their recommendations for each phase of the necessary work.”
He also said that until then, “students and staff from John Winthrop Middle School will remain at Valley until further notice.”