The Coleytown Middle School in Westport, which was shut down last month due to an ongoing mold problem, will be closed through June, officials announced this week. The closure came after a rise in absences and medical complaints from students to begin the school year, which led to the initial shut down.
According to school officials, additional testing at the school found more architectural issues in the building. Water is leaking through the roof and facade, which has caused the recurring mold problem, which has plagued the district for two years, to resurface.
Architects are expected to continue conducting tests at the building to give contractors an idea of the extent of the issues, though officials are hopeful to have it open by the beginning of next year.
Officials said that the mold problem initially began in the summer of 2016, prompting an extensive cleanup plan that was scheduled to be completed before the end of the calendar year.
However, complications - including the failure of the school’s air conditioning units — combined with hot, humid weather, caused the mold to resurface and spread like wildfire.
“When this mold issue was first identified in the summer, the district considered various scenarios in the event the building would not be ready for the start of school or available for some portion of the school year,” Schools Superintendent Colleen Palmer said earlier this year.
The 450 Coleytown students will continue to be split between the Bedford Middle School and Staples High School for the rest of the year. With the Board of Education unanimously deciding to close the middle school, six portable classes are expected to be added at the Bedford Middle School.
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