School District Plans to Inspect All Buildings for Mold

KINGSTON -- Officials in a school district in Luzerne County are taking a look to see if a mold problem could be more widespread than they thought.

The Wyoming Valley West School District now plans to test all of its schools for mold.

The decision comes after mold in the middle school forced the district to close the school indefinitely.

The district hired Environmental Asbestos Abatement, a mold removal company, to search the middle school for mold. There are no classes there for the rest of the week.

School officials do not know when inspections of the other schools will happen, or how the roughly 4,500 students in the district could be impacted by those inspections.

Mold was found in a classroom in the basement of the Wyoming Valley West Middle School in Kingston.

School district officials say every room was cleaned over the summer, including walls, and they're not sure why this mold was not spotted.

Officials also do not yet know where the moisture is coming from that's causing the mold.

Air quality tests are being done to figure out the type of mold in the basement and to see if it's harmful.

"I hope they fix it soon so I can go back," said eighth grader Saraea Kaplan. "It's my last year, so I want to be able to spend it there."

Wyoming Valley West officials say they do not know of any mold in any other district buildings but that each school in the district will be inspected.

They are busy figuring out bus schedules and class schedules, because next week, students from the middle school are expected to have class at Wyoming Valley West High School in Plymouth.

One mom doesn't like the idea because high schoolers may have classes start much earlier than usual.

"That means that they'll be at the bus stops at six in the morning, and it's dark in the morning now, so that is a concern," said Betsy Rittenhouse.

The district has not yet announced the times for the split schedule, but the plan is to have high schoolers start in the morning and middle school students in the afternoon while the middle school is cleaned.

Some high school students who have after school activities think the new schedule will be a pain.

"Some days, I don't get home until 10 o'clock, so having to get up at 6:30, it's going to be pretty difficult," said senior Ashley Duda.

Middle schoolers also aren't looking forward to their new schedules and are disappointed after school sports are canceled, at least for now.

"We're both on the Wyoming Valley West field hockey team, and we don't know what's going to happen to it," said seventh-grader Emma Bealla.

But some high schoolers are looking forward to the split days because they'll get out of school a little bit earlier.

"It'll probably be a lot easier because we all work, we all work and we drive or we live by the school," said senior Jeanine Montanez.


  • jeffrey j miller

    Over the past week i have received numerous inquiries regarding the mold contamination at a local school, this school is not a client of JMSI however JMSI does have nearly 100 school district clients in Eastern Pennsylvania, JMSI has been conducting Indoor Air Quality Studies and Mold Inspections, Mold Remediation, Mold Remediation Design and Mold Remediation Project Management for nearly 25 years. JMSI has been involved in hundreds of similar projects ranging in value from a…
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