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Nov 4, 2002
Holston View Elementary Closed Due To Black Mold
by Meredyth Fox
Newschannel 11


Bristol, Tennessee City Schools Director Steve Dixon announced Monday that Holston View Elementary will be closed for the remainder of the week due to the discovery of black mold in the building.


The announcement comes after school officials learned that a test on ceiling tiles, which were being routinely replaced, tested positive for the mold. School officials have been randomly selecting suspicious ceiling tiles from buildings where individuals had expressed concern. Dixon said the school system is still in the process of testing additional buildings. The results from those tests are not yet available.


The school system is conducting air quality tests to determine if the black mold is airborne. Those results are due back mid-week. In the meantime, school officials plan to fog Holston View Wednesday, a process that eliminates mold spores.


Students, parents and Holston View faculty were notified of the closure at the end of the school day Monday. In a letter to parents, Dixon said "we want to assure you that school will not reopen until we are certain that the air quality is safe. Our first priority is the health and safety of your children and our staff."


Dixon says he expects the school to reopen Monday, however an alternate plan is being drawn up in case the mold situation is worse than first thought. Details of that plan are not yet available.


Dixon says concerns about the presence of mold in Bristol schools arose after the discovery of black mold at Sullivan County's Sullivan East High School. East was closed in early October and mold removal there is expected to last through this week. Students have been attending class at the Bristol Motor Speedway. Dixon says he does not believe the situation at Holston View is as serious as that at East. Bad insulation, a leaky roof and ceiling pipes are to blame for the mold at East. Dixon says it's likely a leaky roof created the problem at Holston View, but that it isn't believe the mold is in the school's ventilation system.


Black mold, also known as Stachybotrys chartarum, can cause respiratory reactions in certain individuals who have sensitivity to mold. However, most individuals are not affected by exposure.

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