Parents Accuse City Of Not Properly Testing For Mold In Queens School
Parents had a meeting with school officials at P.S. 114 in Belle Harbor Monday night where they expressed concern about mold that could be in the walls that hasn't been detected or properly tested for. NY1's Arlene Borenstein filed the following report.
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The school was flooded during Sandy -- the water line went halfway up the front door.
Monday night, representatives of the health and education departments tried to address parents' concerns including the possibility of mold inside the school's walls.
"I personally looked down in the basement underneath into the crawl space to make sure you didn't see any moisture or anything that was left that could be causing mold," said John Shea from the city's division of school facilities.
Officials said they followed health department guidelines, which say if mold can't be seen and if all sources that cause mold to grow are disposed of then no mold testing is necessary.
But parents said the hurricane was an extraordinary circumstance and the normal rules shouldn't apply.
"Being that this room was submerged I'm not comfortable with these walls that are still here that took five feet of water," a parent said.
She also conceded that they hadn't tested the water for the school, which received some sarcastic chuckles from the parents in the crowd.
Parents said they're concerned that untested water would be in the food their kids eat and the fountains they drink from.
But schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said the water is safe.
"It's part of people's perception that it hasn't been tested," Walcott said. "But it's being tested on a regular basis by the Department of Environmental Protection. That's for the community and the school is part of that community.
The school is still being run on generator power and parents said they are still able to smell fumes from inside the building.
Walcott said he will do his best to address the concerns addressed at the meeting as quickly as possible.