An Illinois elementary school finds mold


Reporter - Kathryn DiGisi

MOUNDS, Ill. - Mold was detected in Meridian Elementary in Mounds at the end of May, and now the school board has to figure out a remedy to the dangerous problem.

Remodeling the building would be both costly and take time.

The board has reached out to the state for help, but got little response until Tuesday night.

Illinois State Representative Brandon Phelps attended their school board meeting on Tuesday and made big promises.

Maintenance went to do some routine painting in the school back in May.

"When we did, we saw about the size of a sheet of paper black mold on the walls," said superintendent Terry Moreland.

After more than one month of the school board trying to contact state officials and congressmen to no avail, Representative Brandon Phelps stepped in.

"I'm here to make sure we get through the red tape, to make sure we're on the right path to get this school and these kids some help," said Phelps.

At the meeting he told a worried crowd that he has made the necessary phone calls to the powers that be and promised them that the Labor Department would be by within a week or so to assess the building.

Their assessment will relate directly to the amount of money the state will provide to help fund a remodel.

He assured the crowd that he will treat the children of Meridian Elementary as though they were his own.

"I don't want any kids to be in harm's way and I don't want any kids to have to go through this, because this is ridiculous," said Phelps.

Concerned parents seemed hopeful, and thankful.

The school board does not know how much a project like this could cost or how much they could potentially receive from the state.

Those questions will be answered once examiners determine whether or not the building needs to be condemned.

If it does need to be condemned and the new building is not ready by the time the new school year starts, elementary students will attend classes in the high school.