by Mike Still and Rick Wagner, Bristol Herald Courier
Oct 19, 2002
New survey at Sullivan East shows stachybotrys limited to single area School officials said Friday that tests at Tennessee High School showed no traces of toxic black mold a week after the the discovery of the same type of mold led Sullivan County school officials to shut down Sullivan East High School.
School officials said Friday that tests at Tennessee High School showed no traces of toxic black mold a week after the the discovery of the same type of mold led Sullivan County school officials to shut down Sullivan East High School.
And county school officials said Friday that recent tests at Sullivan East show that black mold — stachybotrys — remained in only in one location of the school as crews work on a mold-removal project whose cost could reach $700,000.
Bristol Tennessee Schools Director Steve Dixon said in a statement issued Friday that no black mold had been found at Tennessee High after specialists from Blountville-based environmental firm S&ME took samples in 24 areas within the school.
"Of those tested, only six rooms revealed a presence of other molds, which, according to experts, would only affect a child with asthma or severe allergies," Dixon said. "Even though the mold present is of little risk, every effort will be made to eradicate its existence."
The testing was done after receiving a handful of complaints from employees and students who said they were suffering from allergy and asthma problems.
Bristol schools spokeswoman Lisa Varney said no additional testing was scheduled for Tennessee High. She said specialists and school officials also did a walk-through of Holston View Elementary School recently and found no indications that mold testing was needed there.
Maintenance workers are replacing wet and soiled ceiling tiles at Holston View. Ceiling tiles were identified as a breeding ground for black mold at Sullivan East.
Testing at Holston View could be done if teachers or parents request it, Varney said.
"We welcome people to bring there concerns to us," she said. "We don’t want to let people think we disregard their concerns."
Meanwhile, the latest mold testing at Sullivan East showed no airborne black mold, and only one area — in a modular unit — that had surface black mold, county school officials said Friday.
The problem at East, school officials said, stemmed from underinsulated chilled-water pipes in the building’s cooling system that dripped condensation into ceiling tiles.
County Schools Director John O’Dell on Oct. 4 ordered Sullivan East closed after swab tests showed black mold was present in five of nine classrooms tested. Students have been attending classes in the skyboxes of Bristol Motor Speedway and are expected to remain there for four to six weeks while the mold removal is completed.
Other molds were found in the most recent Sullivan East testing. The most common kind found in airborne-spore tests was cladosporium, which O’Dell said was commonly found in carpet.
He said carpet in the vocational wing had been cleaned and treated with an anti-mold substance and that schoolwide airborne testing results should be available by the middle of next week. He said the carpet still may be taken up and concrete floors used.
"We should get the rest of the tests around Wednesday or Thursday of next week," O’Dell said.
He said those tests will be used to determine whether the gym, band room and vocational areas can be reopened before the rest of the school.
As for other county schools, O’Dell said he know of no serious mold problems.