Updated 12/05/2012 02:41 PM
DOE, Despite Claiming It Is Safe, Will Test For Mold In School Flooded During Sandy
School's Chancellor Dennis Walcott said Wednesday more thorough testing for mold will be conducted at a Queens school that was flooded during Sandy. NY1's Vivan Lee filed the following report.
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Walcott said holes will be drilled into the walls of P.S. 114 in Belle Harbor to test for mold beneath the surface.
Walcott made that promise after several days of complaints from parents that the building had not completely dried out and testing that had been done was unconvincing.
"I want to respond to the parents' questions and so, around mold we'll do observations in addition to some of the boring in the walls in the auditorium in particular and to see if there's any mold infestation there," Walcott said. "We're confident that it's not but if there is, we'll remediate."
It was during meetings with education officials last week that parents first voiced concerns about mold and air quality as they noticed sludge clinging to the auditorium seats they were sitting on.
"I'm very happy that it is taking place," co-PTA President Irene Dougherty said. "I'd just assumed it would have been done earlier but better late than never."
School officials said air quality tests done before the school's reopening came back clean and that was good enough for some parents.
"I'm confident being in the building," one parent said. "Other than the auditorium, which was stated by the DOE shouldn't be open, everything else seems to be fine in the building."
But it wasn't good enough for the teachers' union, which conducted its own tests and and found elevated levels of moisture. Other parents said they'll have lingering concerns until full testing is finished.
"I don't think they should be here if the school is not safe," a parent said.
For now, the auditorium remains off limits to students.