HINSDALE, Ill. (CBS) — After missing three days of class and about two weeks of half days at another school, students at Hinsdale Middle School were ready to go back to their own classrooms on Tuesday, after crews removed dangerous mold from their school.
CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports it was a long couple weeks for Hinsdale Middle School students, sharing a building with students in neighboring Clarendon Hills Middle School – with Clarendon Hills students in class in the mornings, and Hinsdale students in class in the afternoons.
Hinsdale students missed school on Jan. 17, 21 and 22, after mold problems were discovered in the building. As cleanup continued, they began a split-day schedule with Clarendon Hills on Jan 23, and continued that split-day schedule through Monday.
Inspectors found mold all Hinsdale Middle School after pipes burst in the building.
Hinsdale 7th grader Lauren Lee said, “When I heard that we had it, I was really worried, because I have asthma, so it’s very hard to breathe.”
Health concerns forced administrators to shut down the school so crews could remove moldy drywall, and disinfect floors and walls. The cleanup took more than two weeks, because crews also had to remove asbestos found in the school
Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills Elementary District 181 Superintendent Renee Schuster said the building was cleared for students and staff to return on Monday.
“Yesterday, when the first results came back with just even a single mold spore, we had it retreated and retested, and last night the results came back around 6 o’clock that we had an all-clear,” she said.
The building was safe for students to return to class at their own school, though it still wasn’t back to normal, at least aesthetically. The repaired drywall still needed a new coat of paint, and baseboards were still unfinished.
That’s not all.
“Our roof is leaking. That needs to be addressed. And we have a facilities committee looking at the long-term needs of this building,” Schuster said. The committee will determine if it’s more feasible to renovate the school, or rebuild.
For now, students will take their repaired school over attending shorter school days at Clarendon Hills in the afternoons.
“The old schedule interfered with my sports activities,” 7th grader Mary Grabill said.