Mold Forces Yonkers School to Close Tuesday


What to Know

  • Yonkers Paideia School 15 was closed early Monday afternoon after ceiling tiles tested positive for mold; it will remain closed Tuesday

  • At an emergency meeting, parents demanded answers and expressed frustration over plans to temporarily shift school to a high school

  • The schools superintendent said parents will be updated on abatement plans and when the building will reopen

The Yonkers public school board is scrambling to figure out where to put students of Paideia School 15 after a quarter of mold tests came back positive Monday, forcing officials to dismiss early and close school on Tuesday. 

The 600-student building of Paideia was evacuated after tests showed ceiling tiles on the third floor had mold.

“On the loudspeaker, they told everyone to drop everything and meet in the hallway,” said third-grader Bridget Burke. “I got very scared.” 

One family is convinced the mold has been in the school for awhile. Parent Kerri Burke said her daughter had no health issues during summer break — no allergies, no runny nose. But during the school year, she breaks out in hives, and “last year, I had to take her to the emergency room every week. It only happens in the school year.”

“There’s got to be a paper trail somewhere,” said parent Frank Krimelbein. “Mold takes weeks, months, years. Somebody put this on the back burner. It didn’t develop the first two weeks of school.” 

But the proposal to shift classes to Roosevelt High School was met with resistance at an emergency meeting Monday night. Parents were concerned about safety in a shared school, as well as how buses would be rerouted and schedules redone. 

“Please take that off your venue, that’s not even an option,” said Krimelbein. “I have a problem with them on the bus, with 12- to 13-year-olds without a bus monitor. It’s not an option, with the language, the smoke and the environment.” 

But Yonkers school superintendent Edwin M. Quezada, Ed. D., said it’s the only plan for now: “The pre-K to fourth-graders would go to Dodson School, we hope, and the five to eight will go to Roosevelt High,” he said.

The school board hopes the work can be done in a week, and plans to fix the leaky roofs in the building believed to have caused the mold. Quezada said he will let parents know Tuesday what the district decides, either through telephone or another meeting, so that students can be back in school by Wednesday. 

Source : Nbcnewyork