Mold removal delays first day of school for some York County students

YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – Some kids in York are getting a longer summer vacation.

Hannah Penn K-8 school had mold that needed to be cleaned up.

Classes were delayed for two days.

“Mold is everywhere. It’s in the air right now. It’s just that when conditions are put into place where it can grow that’s when it becomes a problem,” said Dr. Eric Holmes, York City Public Schools Superintendent.

The mold was found while doing routine maintenance.

It has been removed, but the insulation has to be replaced.

“We will certainly not allow anyone back into the building if there are issues with air quality. However, we have not found any major concerns with air quality since we’ve been testing over the last two weeks,” Holmes said.

Holmes says the main reason for the delay is the heat.

“We do not want to put students in a building after the air conditioning has been shut down for five days, with temperatures approaching 90 degrees,” said Holmes.

James Buntemeyer, owner of Advanta Clean, removes mold and takes care of other household issues.

He’s not surprised by what the school found.

“It’s actually very common especially in school because of the fact they don’t run the AC system in summer months,” Buntemeyer said.

The superintendent says they normally do run the air conditioner in the summer, but it was turned off because of issues with the chiller.

“There are several ways they could’ve possibly prevented it whether it was running the HVAC system, dehumidification, or controlling that moisture that’s in the air,” Buntemeyer said.

The good news is surface mold can typically be wiped away, which in this case is less harmful.

“It’s dangerous when it’s in high enough concentrations that it starts to overwhelm our bodies’ immune systems,” Buntemeyer said.

Hannah Penn students will return to school on Wednesday.

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