HUSTONVILLE — Students at Hustonville Elementary School will get to sleep in a couple of extra mornings as the opening day of classes there has been postponed until Monday as efforts to address mold at the school continue.
Students at all other Lincoln County schools will report to classes Thursday morning as scheduled.
Industrial hygienists from two Kentucky firms were at the school this morning collecting air and surface samples that will be taken to an accredited laboratory later today for analysis. Results of that testing will be provided to the Lincoln County Board of Education at its regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the central office.
Board members met Tuesday night and decided to delay opening Hustonville Elementary to allow more time for cleanup and testing. The board rented 18 air scrubbers with HEPA filters that operated throughout the school from Saturday until the samples were collected this morning.
Mold was discovered at the school two weeks ago as it was being prepared for opening day. A faulty HVAC unit was blamed for causing high humidity to develop in one wing of the school, which in turn allowed mold to develop.
Bruce Ferguson, an industrial hygienist with Air Source Technology in Lexington, which has been monitoring the cleanup and collecting samples, said the mold was caused by the HVAC failure, not any long-term build-up of the substance in the building.
"This is an event, not a chronic condition with this building," he said.
The mold present at the school is similar to that found in old oranges or bread "just like you encounter in your home every day," Ferguson said.
Superintendent Karen Hatter said she is confident test results will provide an "all clear" for Hustonville students to get their school year started on Monday.
"We don't want to put our students or staff at risk," Hatter said. "We want to have the building thoroughly tested before we bring people in, not after."