Black mold found in Pre-K school trailers in Paterson, New Jersey

Thursday, September 13, 2018
Black mold found in Pre-K school trailers in Paterson, New Jersey
AJ Ross reports on the mold discovery in some classrooms in New Jersey.

PATERSON, New Jersey (WABC) -- There are concerns about mold in some classrooms in New Jersey.

Paterson is providing health screenings for 48 Pre-K students after discovering black mold in a trailer where classes were held.

It was an alarming discovery inside three of the four trailers at Public School 1 in Paterson. It prompted an immediate evacuation of the students.

Eyewitness News spoke with administrators about the cleanup process and health screenings that are currently underway.

A school facilities manager says the black mold was recently discovered when a technician from the HVAC department was servicing equipment inside the trailers Wednesday morning.

The technician noticed something abnormal, and school administrators immediately relocated the 48 small children and eight staff members to the multipurpose room inside PS 1.

A robo call was sent out to parents, and a meeting was held later with the assistant superintendent and principal.

"It was disturbing, it was concerning because the safety of these children is paramount to me and my staff as well," principal JoAnn Barca said.

Administrators say the 17-year-old trailers will now be replaced, and they're thoroughly inspecting every temporary classroom throughout the district to ensure there's no other signs of mold.

"Throughout the state, there's been an issue because of the high humidity and the temperatures that we've experienced this summer," said Steve Morlino, executive director of facilities. "All it takes is a little bit of temperature, the right humidity content and a little bit of organic material and mold can grow in 24 to 48 hours."

The 3- and 4-year-old children and the staff also underwent health screenings Thursday morning.

Classes that were using the contaminated trailers are being reassigned to three other locations: a multipurpose room inside School 1; School 26, which is next door; and the 14th Avenue Learning Center, located about five blocks away.


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