Cost of Coleytown mold problem continues increase
WESTPORT — Over February break, all four Coleytown Middle School classrooms inspected for mold required remediation.
The new discovery raised the entire abatement project cost to approximately $375,000 and further drained the school board’s carryover account.
Projections forecast the total cost of suppressing mold in the school — across 34 rooms and two hallways to date — to be $500,000. Elio Longo, director of school business operations, said, “At this time, the half a million dollars sounds like a reasonable assessment of the total cost, but the greatest unknown is the two hallways.” The project was originally thought to cost $250,000.
The classrooms addressed included: rooms 102 and 202, where eighth-grade science is taught; 204, where eighth-grade social studies is taught and 228, where sixth-grade math is taught.
After inspection and remediation by Hygenix, a different firm than the one enlisted to complete the previous jobs, both the airborne mold test and the visual inspection resulted in satisfactory grades for a “clean” building.
Thus far, 26 rooms have been inspected, with 16 of them requiring removal of potentially toxic and common molds.
Much of the Board of Education carryover has been used for mold removal. An account that started the year at $531,894 is now down to around $133,000.
Longo said both the $375,000 and $133,000 figures are estimates because he has not yet received invoices for plumbing and electrical services.
In April, Longo said, they plan to schedule three rooms: 205, an eighth-grade language arts classroom; 206 A, a reading support classroom for all grades and room 206 B, academic support classroom for all grades.
“Should the remaining remediation exceed the carryover fund, we would move to cover the additional expense with any end-of-year surplus,” Longo said.
The entire project is not expected to be completed until summer.