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Date Scheduled For Reopening Of Westchester School Where Mold Was Found

Yonkers Public Schools’ Paideia School 15
Yonkers Public Schools’ Paideia School 15 Photo Credit: File

Less than a month after being forced to close its doors when a mold outbreak was discovered, a Yonkers school may soon be reopening.

Paideia School 15 may be reopening as soon as Monday, Oct. 22, with a new roof, following an expedited replacement project that took just weeks and cost the district approximately $3 million.

There was an emergency closing of the K-8 school on Monday, Sept. 24, when ceiling tiles tested positive for mold. Since the mold outbreak, older students above grade four are going to St. Bartholomew School on Saw Mill River Road, while the younger students have been attending the Robert C. Dodson School on Avondale Road.

At the latest Board of Education meeting, the school's facility management director John Carr said that the building is now "watertight.

"Happy to say that the roof is watertight, and the clean up is completed, except for some repairs that still need to be made to HVAC equipment and some sheetrock and ceiling tiles," he said. "We have to have that functioning the way it's supposed to by mid-November."

Carr added that the roof is getting replaced, "in record time," at the meeting.

"If we had been there, say during the summer, and said this needs a new roof it still would have been 12 to 18 months away from us starting construction," Carr said. "I think people forget that."

Last week, Schools Superintendent Edwin Quezada announced that air samples taken from the school showed that all areas of the school are cleared for reoccupancy, though it remained under construction as they installed the new roof.

The first two floors are now set to reopen, potentially as soon as Oct. 22, while the third floor will remain temporarily closed as the finishing touches are put in place on the roof.

“The repair and rehabilitation work at Paideia School 15 due primarily to the roof failure is progressing. Adelaide Environmental Health Associates is monitoring interior restoration and conducting air quality sampling and testing as appropriate. LiRo Engineers, an independent auditor, is additionally providing environmental monitoring and expertise," Yonkers Public Schools spokesperson Jerilynne Fierstein stated.

"Dr. Edwin M. Quezada, Superintendent of Schools, has indicated that the first and second floor has the potential to be reoccupied on or about Oct. 22. The third floor will remain closed until all roof repairs are completed. This will only occur after all air quality testing and facility inspections are completed to the satisfaction of the Board of Education. An open house for parents will be scheduled prior to the reopening of the school.”

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