Overton I.S.D. Partially Shuts Down Gym Because Of Mold
An East Texas school has black mold growing on the walls of one of its gyms. This forced Overton I.S.D. to shut down a part of one of its two gyms. The school brought in environmental officials to find out what it was. They discovered a high level of black mold.
After heavy rains last month, an Overton I.S.D. board member became concerned about a "substance" growing on dressing room walls in the school gym. "We had a company come out and do an environmental study and they did find some significantly-elevated levels in what we call the dressing areas," said Overton I.S.D. Superintendent Mark Stretcher.
As a precaution, the school ordered the dressing rooms vacated until further notice. "We just have the type that can create some breathing problems and some health problems for the kids and it's not something that we want the kids around," said Stretcher.
School officials say the water has been leaking onto the stands for years. The locker rooms are right beneath the bleachers.
Carrie Parsons, whose son is a 7th grader at Overton I.S.D. says she did not know about the mold until today, when she read it in the paper. "I would have liked for them to contact us, the parents, but I do believe that they'll take care of it," said Parsons, whose son attends Overton I.S.D.
For now, the school has made another part of the gym a makeshift changing room. This is a temporary solution, until they figure out what to do next. "The first thing we gotta do is fix the roof leak, which will be a rather significant amount of money. And after that we have some preliminary proposals," said Stretcher. Until then, the students here will have to adjust to this uncomfortable situation.
The school board is set to meet tonight and discuss what to do next. Dr. Stretcher says they will either close the gym, repair it or partially rebuild it. They expect to cost about $90,000 to repair the roof and get the mold out.