Report cites mold at Roosevelt, more testing planned
By Carole Carlson firstname.lastname@example.org/302-0949 February 6, 2014 5:12PM
A "considerable" mold presence was found at Roosevelt College and Career Academy, according to a report cited by a state Board of Education member. | Post-Tribune File Photo
Updated: March 8, 2014 6:33AM
GARY — A State Board of Education member is calling on the state to pay for the cost of mold remediation at the Roosevelt College and Career Academy following problems with heating that led to leaks and flooding.
State board member Tony Walker of Gary said Thursday if the state won’t commit to paying for the work, students should be relocated to another school.
Walker shared a report from a mold testing company that cited “considerable mold presence,” in testing done recently.
Superintendent Cheryl Pruitt said Thursday the district hired a company to test for mold and that it “allegedly” was found, but only in the band room. She said the district is having the building further evaluated for mold.
Walker toured Roosevelt last week with State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz, who saw some of the damage from burst pipes.
Roosevelt students have missed six days of school this year because EdisonLearning officials said the building’s classrooms didn’t have adequate heat.
After the tour, Ritz told EdisonLearning to devise a plan to identify a heated area within the school to relocate students, if their classrooms aren’t heated sufficiently. About 600 students attend the school, but the building can accommodate more than 3,000.
Daniel Altman, spokesman for the Department of Education, referred questions about mold cleanup to the shared service agreement, signed by both EdisonLearning and the school district. The State Board of Education received an update on the agreement at its rescheduled meeting Thursday.
The state took Roosevelt away from the school district in 2011 after six straight years of poor academic performance. The state hired EdisonLearning under a four-year contract to operate the school and improve achievement.
Last month, burst pipes also led to the relocation of 600 students from the Bailly Preparatory Academy to the Watson Boys Academy.