Terri Miles – Editor, Amity Observer
WOODBRIDGE – There are worms in the carpet in the guidance wing of Amity High School, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg, according to Bethany resident Lorri Cavaliere, a member of Interim School Supt. Michael Nast’s Environmental Committee.
Cavaliere said many students who joined the Summer Theater program and performed in "Fiddler on the Roof" have come down with cold-like symptoms and respiratory ailments for which they have sought medication.
She learned the choir room has flooded a couple of times since summer vacation began, but the visible problems in the choir room does not even touch the severity of the overall problem, she said.
"ServiceMaster employees dried the carpet by blowing it with an industrial size fan," she said. "What they were doing is blowing the mold spores back into the air."
The long-time mold problem always seems to be swept under the rug as residents concentrate on the budget and school board woes.
"This is a continuing mold problem; it’s not going away," she said. "The choir room has been a problem for a couple of years. OSHA came in about two years ago, and in their report, insisted that an open pipe in the room be covered."
A pipe was placed in the hole in an effort to remedy the situation, and ServiceMaster has been caulking around it, instead of fixing it properly, according to Cavaliere. An additional obstacle is an open pit, surrounded by an orange fence, behind the school.
"The water buildup goes through the pipe and into the open pipe," Cavaliere said. "Three years ago, it was recommended that the carpets be pulled up because they have toxic mold in them – that was never done."
Finance Director Keith McLiverty said he is aware of claims of coughing problems, but nothing has been officially documented, he said.
He acknowledged the pipe could have been fixed for only a few hundred dollars, but because it wasn’t done, it now will cost thousands of dollars to replace the carpets.
A $100,000 grant secured by state Sen. Joseph Crisco will help pay for the cleanup and a new carpet.