By Linda Metz, Staff writer

CLAYSVILLE – Students in McGuffey School District will not report for classes Thursday as originally scheduled.

Instead, classes will begin Sept. 6 as crews work to remove mold from the high school/middle school complex.

In a written statement, Superintendent Beverly Arbore said that a routine cleaning of the building revealed concerns regarding the existence of moisture and some mold.

The district took steps to correct mechanical issues with its heating/air conditioning system before calling in an environmental consulting company to conduct a visual inspection and an analysis of air and surface samples.

The initial inspection was conducted Monday and results indicated the presence of moisture-related conditions that are “common during this time of year,” Arbore said.

“After the first inspection, a representative from the environmental consulting company reported that the remediation measures and cleaning procedures initiated by the district were appropriate,” said Arbore.

However, she said the environmental consultant recommended a second visual inspection and the taking of additional air and surface samples. The visual inspection was conducted Wednesday.

Samples were collected Thursday. The results are still pending.

Arbore explained, however, that the results of the second visual inspection recommended the removal of insulation and paper wrapped around the ventilation pipes that were producing condensation and rewrapping the pipes with neoprene instead of a paper/fiberglass product.

School Director Doug Teagarden said this is not the first time that the district has had trouble with mold in the building.

Because of the scope of the work needed to correct the issues, Arbore said it was decided to delay the first student day of school.

District business manager Scott Burchill estimates the cost of the remediation work at $100,000. However, he is hoping the final amount is lower.

He also explained that work has not yet begun to correct the piping problem, but an environmental company that specializes in environmental remediation will be hired to prepare the affected areas for occupancy.

“Right now, we’re just getting things into place for work to begin,” he stated.

Teachers will now report on Aug. 31. Teagarden was uncertain how the late start will affect the school year calendar.