Greencastle school shut down as mold testing continues


Photo credit: Tzouanakis Intermediate School

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GREENCASTLE, Ind. – A school in Greencastle is shut down until further notice due to air quality concerns.

Tzouanakis Intermediate School sent out an announcement overnight, saying 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students should stay home. The school cited “air quality concerns” as the reason.

Parents received a recorded message Tuesday afternoon from the superintendent stating the school would be shut down until further notice as testing for mold continues. The district plans to relocate students to other school buildings.

The superintendent said they expect to get air quality test results back by Friday. At that time, they will make plans for children who attend the intermediate school.

According to the Greencastle Banner-Graphic, the school board met Monday night and discussed mold issues in the building.

Sometime during that conversation, the school board president reportedly said they had not appropriately measured the mold levels, and that while they believe the school was operating within safe mold limits, they did not know what level that was.

"I was very shocked, frustrated and concerned because at this point they don’t know if there’s a lot of mold or there’s no mold at all," said Erin Pitt, whose daughter attends the school.

The Greencastle Banner-Graphic says the facility installed a new air conditioning unit earlier this year, and since then, there has been noticeable humidity within the facility, which could lead to a bigger problem.

The custodians recently noticed visible mold within the school, and because of that, administrators have decided it`s not safe for students to be in class until they know more about what is going on.

Another parent tells CBS4 she attended the school board meeting and heard teachers speaking up about the health problems they're facing.

"There was a teacher who spoke at the school board meeting last night about having to take medicine just to be in the building," said Suzanne Masten, who has two kids who attend the school . "Now she's an extreme case having an allergic reaction to the mold but that should be a red flag right there."

The superintendent's message to parents mentioned HVAC and moisture control experts were inside the building Tuesday.

"The superintendent would never put kids in harm’s way but something needs to be done and it’s not right," Pitt said.

CBS4 reached out to the superintendent and school board members for comment. Calls and emails were not returned.

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