Neptune Township, NJ – Three years and tens of millions of dollars later, part a brand new elementary school in New Jersey will be torn down before it ever held one class. The reason for this waste of taxpayer’s money: mold.
From the outside, the almost-completed Midtown Community School looks to be a beacon of hope for the hundreds of children who have been attending classes in trailers while watching the future of their education erected right in front of their eyes for three years.
But inside, officials have discovered something sinister — mold growing and spreading throughout the structure’s walls.
“Parents were quite frankly shocked. We had been making plans to move over here in the fall,” Neptune Township School Superintendent David A. Mooij told CBS 2. “The students and the parents had watched the building go up, and now they must watch it torn down.”
Much of the brick building must now be torn down to get to the contaminated gypsum sheeting, which experts say somehow got very wet during before construction. The necessary rebuilding will delay the school’s opening for another year and add considerable cost to the $42 million project.
“It will add — the estimate right now — anywhere from $5 to $10 million,” said Jerry Murphy, COO of the State Schools Construction Corporation.
Murphy says the blame for the problem lies either with the construction company, the architect, or the project management company. “We put everyone on notice. Whoever is at fault, we will hold them liable for the cost of it,” he said.
The contractors, Turner Construction, gave CBS 2 this statement: Safety for the students, workers, and surrounding community is our top priority. Turner is committed to working in good faith with all parties involved to take the necessary steps to resolve the current issue and complete the Midtown Community School.
This will be the second time the Schools Construction Corp. has had to dismantle a newly-built school. Last year, after spending more than $11 million, the partially-built Martin Luther King Elementary School in Trenton was torn down when the ground beneath it was found to be contaminated.