State officials inspected Calhoun Middle/High School last Thursday for problems related to mold in the relatively new $13.2 million dollar building.

Principal Roger Propst said the classrooms were in compliance.

A West Virginia Department of Education heating and ventilation group took air samples and examined local efforts to scrub the mold from at least ten classrooms. They said the school system had done a good clean-up job.

"If there was a serious problem with the mold as a hazard to health, the state department would tell us to take further action," according to administrator Donnie Pitts. "We have done everything we have been instructed to do."

Pitts said the school system is vitally concerned about the health of students, teachers and family members who work in the building.

Calhoun County Sanitarian Marlan Zwoll said he and the West Virginia Department of Health had received at least one complaint from Calhoun regarding the mold problem, and they are following up.

Pitts said the building has been scrubbed, ceiling tiles replaced and ventilators cleaned. The mold problem has surfaced in several newly built schools around the state. He said it first surfaced in the summer of 2001 at Calhoun Middle/High School.

"We are working on a plan, based on what the experts tell us about correcting the problem," said Pitts. A meeting is scheduled with the school's architect and engineers on October 11. "We are set to make some changes with the control system," said Pitts, which is what he says needs to be done.

Attendance Director Bryan Sterns said attendance has been running at average levels since school has started, with little or no defined problems related to mold allergies.

The extremely dry weather linked to the fall season is likely making allergy problems worse, said Pitts, although people with sensitive allergies could be affected by mold.

Hur Herald from Sunny Cal
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