Superintendent: Mold at Palmer Park Academy poses no risk

James David Dickson
The Detroit News
Nikolai Vitti

Nikolai Vitti, superintendent of Detroit Public Schools Community District, wrote this week in an update to the Palmer Park Preparatory Academy community, that mold testing at Palmer Park Academy shows the mod does not pose a health risk.

The testing was conducted by ATC Group Services LLC on the district's behalf, and ATC's findings do not immediately change the status quo, which is that Palmer Park Academy is closed for the remainder of the 2017-18 school year, and students will finish the year at Detroit International Academy. 

That's been the case since mid-March, when Palmer Park Academy was closed due to environmental concerns. 

Comparing the mold levels of 82 indoor samples to the mold levels of two outdoor samples, ATC found 16 samples with elevated mold levels: eight due to water damage, and eight more due to fungus resulting from the water damage, Vitti wrote.

Four of the 16 samples with elevated levels are classified as black mold. 

"You would have to be physically in the room where black mold is present to be in contact" with it, Vitti wrote. But this was on the building's second floor, which Vitti wrote was closed by the district in 2011 and hasn't been used since. 

"To that end, minimal persons should have been exposed to any mold, black mold or otherwise, located on the second floor of school," Vitti wrote. 

Before Palmer Park reopens, it will need, at a minimum, a new roof, "repair and restoration" of the second floor, walls repainted throughout the school, and for water-stained ceiling tiles to be replaced.