Another day, another mold growth in a school building…maybe. East Moline School District #37 currently faces the potential presence of mold and asbestos. Hillcrest Elementary School underwent a series of inspections this summer, all of which came back clean.
Earlier in 2015, State Representative Mike Smiddy filed a resolution for a performance audit on the district, which would cost them $360,000. He ended up rescinding the resolution, but apparently some of the mandated inspections on Hillcrest Elementary came from his office.
District superintendent Kristin Humphries says the Illinois State Board of Education received a complaint that Hillcrest had a mold growth problem. A few ceiling tiles were removed due to water damage, but the rest of the inspection returned no concerns.
Two weeks after these inspections in early August, the Illinois Department of Labor surprised Hillcrest with another inspection – and said there was nothing about which to be concerned. The school district’s attorneys then filed a Freedom of Information Act request to find out from the State Board of Education who filed the complaint about the nonexistent mold growth. The state board reported that Smiddy had contacted them earlier in the month and sent pictures of mold.
Again, the Labor Department returned to the school for an inspection and found the coast to be clear. Of course, the fees for the test have come out of Illinois taxes. District board members and parents have expressed dissatisfaction with the allocation of the school’s funds – nearly $20,000 – toward tests for nonexistent mold.
Humphries has expressed frustrations mostly that he and the teachers and the staff haven’t been able to focus on supporting each other and the students like they should be.Tags: education, mold, mold growth, mold in school