Meridian school leaders update community about mold problem - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Meridian school leaders update community about mold problem

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School leaders update parents and teachers about how things are going to go once school begins in August. School leaders update parents and teachers about how things are going to go once school begins in August.
Community members gather ahead of the meeting. Community members gather ahead of the meeting.

At the end of May, cleaning crews found mold in the walls of Meridian Elementary School.

Almost two weeks ago, leaders told students' parents about the problem and offered solutions.

Another meeting on Tuesday night updated the community on what's being done to try to pay for removing the mold from the school.

"We're still two weeks away from knowing exactly how were going to deal with the beginning of the school year at this time," said Meridian School District Superintendent Terry Moreland. "We value what our parents have to say about this problem. It is always nice to see a different angle. Because sometimes you get so focused in on one angle that kind of miss the other parts of the puzzle. And our parents have been really nice, they've come out with some good questions. Some of the questions we can't answer yet because we don't know yet."

School leaders sat down with the architect team and state legislators to look over what can be done to fix the mold problem and how much the state can help with the cost of cleaning things up.

"I think the state is moving pretty slowly, said Angela Dickerson of Mounds City. "We here in the southern region of Illinois, it just seems we are always the last to get the funding that we need and the help that we need. Does a child have to die as a result of this exposure in order for us to get some help?"

Illinois State Representative Brandon Phelps (D)-118th District, assured the parents and school leaders that he was going to do everything he could to get things moving in Springfield to help the community.

"We want to make sure these kids are not in harms way," said Rep. Phelps. "I'm going to treat these kids like they're my kids. And I wouldn't want my daughter to go to a school if there's mold in it that we know of. And we know the mold is there. So we're going to make sure they get treated right. And I'm going to make sure we cut through this bureaucratic red tape in Springfield."

The mold problem in the Meridian Elementary School is throughout the building on the inside of the outer walls of the building.

It is black mold growing in the walls which is very toxic to humans and in some cases can even cause death.

Fixing the problem could cost the school district millions of dollars. That's money they don't have.

The school board considered two different bonding possibilities during their Tuesday night board meeting. They decided upon the Health Life Safety bond for more than $1.5-million dollars.

The Illinois Department of Labor are now going to collect some air samples from inside the elementary school building to determine if the building is occupiable, or un-occupiable.

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