Mold may have been discovered on ceiling tiles in a section of Coleytown Middle School.
Custodial staff last week noticed evidence of leaking pipes in the ceiling tiles of five classrooms and a 20-foot section of hallway in the eighth-grade wing of the building.
"It's not a big deal," Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon told the Westport News on Wednesday. "It could happen anyplace and we are very sensitive to that. So custodians check ceiling tiles for patches and we check walls. They do it all the time. We're very sensitive to the issue of mold."
Inhaling mold can cause allergic reactions and can also irritate eyes, skin, noses and throats.
Landon said air-quality and mold tests were conducted by Hygenix, an environmental consultant company, and the results should come back soon.
In the meantime, that area of the school has been closed to students and school staff.
Landon said the pipes in question were insufficiently insulated.
"When the construction took place, they wrapped the pipes with only one inch of insulation, which is unsatisfactory," Landon said. "Over time, if there are problems with joints, there will be leakage, and that's what happened here."
All Pro Restoration was hired to perform the cleaning and remediation. The pipes will be wrapped with two inches of insulation, Landon said.
The affected areas should be cleaned up well in advance of the beginning of the new academic year, he said.