Iowa City Regina delays start because of mold - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa City Regina delays start because of mold

IOWA CITY (KWWL) -- Many students are heading back to class this week, but one local school won't be getting started on time.  Mold is causing that school to delay the start of classes. 

When a teacher was prepping her classroom at Regina Catholic Elementary in Iowa City, mold was spotted.  School officials were alerted, and they immediately began working to fix the problem.

Students won't be showing up for classes at Regina Catholic schools until Monday, after mold was discovered in some classrooms.  Luckily, the mold found here isn't the toxic kind, but it can still cause problems for those with allergies or conditions like asthma.

"We brought in an inspector who looked through the classrooms, did some air quality tests, and let us know the levels were elevated, certainly higher than he'd like to have seen.  So when we got those tests back we decided to bring in a team to remediate," said Carol Trueg, president of Regina Catholic Schools.

Experts have spent the last several days thoroughly cleaning up the moldy areas.  And the infected classrooms were shut off Monday so that final air quality tests could be performed.  It's the last step to ensure that the problem has been completely eliminated.  In addition to the clean-up, a problem with the school's water heater that's believed to have transmitted the mold in the school has also been fixed.

"We've already put into action lots of steps right now to make sure this doesn't happen again," said Trueg.

And health experts say those steps are just what should be done in this kind of situation.

"Once you stop the water, once you get it dry enough, the mold growth will stop.  So it's always kind of that balance," said Doug Beardsley, director of the Johnson County Public Health Department.

So now students, parents, and teachers at Regina schools can rest assured that the buildings will be cleaner than ever when classes do get underway next week.

Classrooms at the school will also be getting dehumidifiers to help reduce the risk of another mold outbreak in the future. 

Regina's also re-scheduled student orientations.  All of them will be held Friday, August 20:  Junior High & High School students 8-10 a.m., pre-school 10 a.m.-noon, elementary 1:30-3 p.m.

KWWL Reporter:  Kera Mashek

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