Mold remover formula

East St Louis School delays first day of class due to mold

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Students attending Lincoln Middle School will have to wait until at least next week to start in-person classes due to mold at the school, according to School District 189 in East St. Louis. The first day of classes was to be Monday, August 15. .

Sydney Stigge-Kaufman, director of communications for the district, said the mold was first discovered on August 8 as staff and cleaning crews prepared for the first day of school. The college, located at 12 S. 10th St., was immediately closed as a precaution.

According to an Aug. 11 news release on the district’s website, mold has grown in some areas of the school due to an HVAC outage. Environmental Consultants LLC, headquartered in Collinsville, checked for mold and Alliance Restoration Services began mold removal and cleanup of the school. Another contractor repaired the HVAC system and all affected items were removed.

Environmental Consultants conducts tests to determine air quality levels, which prompted the school to start an online learning day, instead of in-person classes, on August 15. However, due to cleanup efforts still ongoing and few families picking up Chromebooks for students, the district announced Aug. 13 that classes would be delayed until Aug. 22. The district hopes to have in-person classes that day. No e-learning instruction will take place this week.

“We were remediating as early as Tuesday, but the work wasn’t finished,” Stigge-Kaufman said. “We were hoping we wouldn’t even have to do an e-learning day on Monday the 15th.”

Stigge-Kaufman didn’t immediately know where the mold was in the school, but she said the presence of mold is a new problem for Lincoln Middle School, which has more than 400 students enrolled. No one was injured due to mold exposure. She said the district is working on plans to determine how the delay will affect the school schedule.

“Remediation efforts are ongoing and again we’re hoping everyone can be in person on Monday and asking families to pick up a Chromebook just so we have it as a backup.”

Families of students attending Lincoln Middle School can pick up Chromebooks at the District Administration Building, located at 1005 State St., today through August 19 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Students must be present when picking up Chromebooks.

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DeAsia Paige joined the Belleville News-Democrat as a member of the Report for America corps in 2020. She is a community reporter covering East St. Louis and surrounding areas. DeAsia previously interned at VICE and The Detroit Free Press. She graduated from the University of Kansas in 2020.