Mold closes CT school for week

Students being relocated
March 3, 2008 4:10:11 PM PST
A school in Connecticut was shut down because of mold. The Hamilton Avenue School will be closed all week while school officials try figure out where to hold classes. The mold was found inside the walls of modular classrooms at the elementary school in Greenwich.

Eyewitness News reporter Marcus Solis has the story.

This discovery has caused all sorts of concerns for parents. They are worried about their children's health, as well as finding child care alternatives for the time off.

It is an unexpected week off from school, and the kids are having fun. Their parents? Well, that's another matter.

"It makes it very difficult to find somewhere to put my children," parent Lisa Horch.

On Saturday, the Greenwich Board of Education closed down Hamilton Avenue Elementary after mold was discovered in the ceilings. Environmental crews in protective suits have been working to rid the building of the potential health hazard.

The school is actually a temporary facility, a modular unit built three years ago to house 370 students while a brand new school is under construction.

The original building was shut down three years ago because of, you guessed it, mold. Monday morning, more than a dozen parents protested outside of board of education headquarters.

"They're furious," PTA co-chair Dawn Nethercott said. "It shouldn't be happeneing again. We left our old school because of mold, and it's happening all over. There's no contingency plan."

Among the signs this morning, one read "Rich town, poor school."

Parents say West Hamilton has been neglected because it is in the working class, less affluent section of Greenwich.

"We are not the multi-million dollar finance people," parent Laura Dibella said. "We are the blue collar people, and it's never been any different."

Dibella has opened her home to parents unable to find child care this week, while the Boys and Girls club in Greenwich has agreed to take in about 75 kids.

Officials are working on a plan to relocate West Hamilton students to other schools. While classes will remain intact, the solution is far from ideal.

"My younger one can't take a bus," parent Meagan Darling said. "My older one, I guess she could, but I'm not going to put her on a bus with strange children going to a strange place. I'm not comfortable with that."

Hamilton Avenue School Relocation Plan:

District and School Administrators, in consultation with members of the Board of Education and school PTA, are developing a plan to relocate Hamilton Avenue School students and staff for the remainder of the school year.

The Relocation Plan will address new sites for HAS students and staff, transportation, furniture, materials, resources, delivery of instruction for special subjects, schedules, after school programs, etc.

Board of Education Emergency Meeting:

he Board of Education will hold an Emergency Meeting on Monday, March 3, 2008 at 7 PM at the Greenwich High School Auditorium. The Board will discuss and communicate the status of the facility and a relocation plan for Hamilton Avenue School students and staff for the remainder of the school year. There will be an opportunity for public comment and questions.

The superintendent continues to work in consultation with District and school administrators, Board of Education members, the First Selectman, Chairman of the BET, Town Department of Health officials, environmental consultants, and members of the PTA as we continue to investigate the extent of the facility issues at HAS and a plan for relocation.

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