Mold remediation underway at Dothan City Schools Central Office
School Board Chairman Mike Schmitz confirmed the system discovered the mold two weeks ago after an inspection.
“Dr. Edwards is doing an inspection of all the schools and central office,” said Schmitz.
“There wasn’t a lot of visible mold, but there were odors related to off gassing,” said Chris Rose of Wiregrass Environmental. “At that point, that’s what activated the evaluation.”
The building off Dusy Street is a former school built in 1921. According to the inspector, the mold may have been caused from water that accumulates in the parking lot from rain, impacting the building’s foundation.
“Working it’s way through the foundation into the building, that’s where all the water problems were at,” said Rose. “The parking lot didn’t probably used to be there and what it’s doing is allowing the water to hold under the building.”
Rose said the mold was found in the foundation’s crawl space which doesn’t cover the entire building, but he couldn’t confirm how much of the building is impacted.
The mold treated isn’t what’s advertised as the concerning and deadly black mold you hear about. But with any mold, there is always risk for health concerns.
“The molds that were of the most significant concern to us, they weren’t in the air in the occupied space. We felt they had a sufficient opportunity to get there so we made a responsible decision for that.”
As a precaution, the system made short-term accommodations, like moving some employees working at the building during the summer, and long-term accommodations as they address the mold.
“We called Mayor Saliba and asked if we could hold our meetings in his commission chamber and he agreed to that. We’re going to do that until we get the final report and feel comfortable,” said Schmitz.
Schmitz said at this point, no employees have reported falling ill because of the mold.
He said the system is also looking at some other buildings to move into in the future but have not made a final decision about that.
The inspector said the mold issue can happen in any building where there is the presence of water and they are moving forward to get it remediated.
The building will be inspected monthly for the next six months.