DPS: Tests find ‘low levels’ of mold at 5 schools
Air quality tests done at five Detroit Public Schools found “low levels” of mold but no black mold, the district said Monday.
The district said in a release that ATC Group Services LLC conducted the tests at Spain Elementary-Middle School, Dossin Elementary-Middle School, Detroit International Academy for Young Women, A.L. Holmes Elementary School and Osborn High School.
According to DPS, the contractor tested the air at Spain on Feb. 6 and found “total airborne mold spore concentrations were very low and are typical of an occupied office setting.”
Water was tested the same day at Spain by IMS Laboratory and no lead or bacteria was found, DPS said.
The five schools where testing was done are among the first 26 schools inspected by the city of Detroit for health and safety violations. As of Friday, the city had charged DPS $22,417 in inspection fees for those buildings, the district said.
The city's Building, Safety, Engineering & Environmental Department began a four-month inspection program last month for all 97 DPS buildings after complaints by teachers and parents about problems including water leaks, mold and heating.
So far, the city has finished inspecting 70 DPS schools, according to the district.
At Spain, ATC tested areas throughout the school, including the gymnasium, the hallway outside the auditorium, the band room and dance studio, the main office, and classrooms, the district said.
“Mold, dust and dust mites are everywhere and cannot be 100 percent eliminated from any building,” Felicia Venable, DPS’ acting executive director of operations, said in a statement. “However, when questions are raised about air quality in our buildings, as they have been in the inspection reports for these five schools by the City of Detroit’s Health Department, we will conduct a test to ensure that our buildings provide a safe environment conducive to learning for our students.”
Health and safety problems at numerous DPS schools were among the factors that led teachers to stage a series of sickouts that closed dozens of schools starting in November. Spain, in particular, garnered national attention for violations that included missing floor tiles, broken glass, water damage and evidence of rodents.
TV talk show star Ellen DeGeneres spearheaded a campaign that resulted in the donation of hundreds of thousands of dollars in materials, labor and technology to improve conditions at Spain.