Rockland County high school closed until January as tests find mold, asbestos present in building

SPRING VALLEY, Rockland County (WABC) -- Days after returning to remote learning, a high school in Rockland County now says it expects to be closed to in-person education until January over concerns of hazardous materials in the building.

Spring Valley High School officials sent a letter to parents that they were notified Tuesday of potential hazardous materials in specific classrooms.

"We have determined it is not feasible to run the in-person instructional program and concurrently investigate and develop a plan to address this immediate concern," the letter read. "At the advice of the District's Architect & Engineering firm, and out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to shift students at Spring Valley High School to remote instruction for the remainder of the week."

Officials sent a new letter on Friday informing parents and students that testing confirmed the presence of both mold and asbestos.

A testing consultant working with the school recommended closing off parts of the building for abatement.

However, school officials say in the letter that closing off sections of the school building wasn't feasible.

Instead, the entire school building will remain closed and students will continue with remote learning.

Officials said the remediation work could be finished by the end of December and if that happens students could return to classrooms in early January.

A hole in the roof and faulty caulking are the likely causes of the mold, but the district says there have been no reports of students being sickened.

Exposure to mold can cause respiratory problems.

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