March 8, 2007
No one is allowed inside a school auditorium in Fluvanna County. A mold problem at Central Elementary has caused school officials to lock the doors.
School officials said they don’t know of any children or employees becoming ill and believe they caught the problem in time.
Recent test results came back positive for mold in the auditorium of Central Elementary School. The room has since been sealed off.
We were allowed only to take video from outside the locked doors.
School officials said the rest of the building however is safe.
“We're very lucky that the air handling system for that room is only tied to that room. It is not connected to the rest of the building at all. We have done an inspection of the building and there does not seem to be a presence based on that inspection any place else,” said Fluvanna County Schools Superintendent Dr. Thomas W.D. Smith.
The mold is concerning because it can cause health problems like asthma and allergic reactions, but school officials said there have been no reports of anyone becoming ill.
“I don't know whether children have allergies, whether somebody's allergy was worse after being in the building or whatever. I do know we have not had any staff complain of being sick, as far as I know,” said Smith.
The janitorial staff has wiped down the seats, mopped the stage and the doors to the auditorium remain locked until it can be professionally cleaned and new air test results confirm it's mold-free.
“We acted quickly and we are not going to use it until it is safe for our children and staff,” said Smith.
The health official who took the mold samples told us the levels were similar to what you'd find in a damp basement. They are elevated, but not dangerous and closing the auditorium was just a precaution.
Also, school officials said they do not know what caused the mold problem, but are looking into it. They expect the clean-up to cost upwards of $20,000.