SCRANTON — William Prescott Elementary in Scranton will remain open for this school year.
Because of mold in the building, school leaders decided earlier this month to temporarily close the school, and starting next month, move the students to a former school building on Hemlock Street in the city.
At a special meeting Monday night, the school board voted to keep the building open after recent air quality tests showed no danger to students, staff, or faculty.
“We’re very pleased that the school district and the administration has listened to the parents and has taken our recommendation that the school remain open,” said Jaime Hailstone, who has twin sons in the school.
“I’m feeling good that the students can remain in the school,, that it’s been shown that the air quality is fine for everyone to be here and then we’ll plan to make improvements over the summer months when no one is occupying the school,” agreed parent Jennifer Davis.
Mold was found in the school cafeteria, where the special meeting was held.
School leaders said that a protective wall was recently built to cover the mold.
They promised to continue testing the air and cleaning.
Still, there will be repairs and construction to do at the school, to get rid of all mold and water damage.
It could take months, so starting November 5, the school day at Prescott Elementary will be longer.
Classes will start 15 minutes earlier and go 25 minutes later.
That way, school officials said, the students can be dismissed for the year on May 17 and contractors will have enough time to fix the school before the fall.
“The district has made a tremendous effort to do community outreach, we have actually dedicated a single person just to be a liaison between the parents and the administration and the school board as well, trying to guarantee this problem never happens again,” said Nathan Barrett, vice president of the school board.
“We’re just hopeful that the work gets done over the summer, properly done, and the school is open again next year,” said Hailstone.