MONTICELLO, Wis. — School board members here moved quickly to begin remediation and renovation efforts to correct mold and other problems at local schools after residents passed a $1.65 million referendum.

Water seepage from improper grading and a leaky roof had led to mold growth in at least five rooms, and flaking asbestos and lead paint in ceiling and flooring materials needed to be removed. A heating system also required replacement, as well as other improvements.

The referendum covers a three-year period of renovations, with most construction taking place in the summer so that it would not disrupt learning.

Mold had been found in three rooms in the elementary school that were previously used for office and storage space, as well as in a third-grade classroom. Mold was also discovered in a guidance room in the high school.

Birch Environmental Maintenance of Madison was hired to remove contaminated sheet rock, foam insulation, ceiling materials, and asbestos flooring in the elementary school rooms. The high school guidance room was cleaned by bleach treatment.

Once the grading has been improved, the outer walls of the elementary school rooms will be sealed with a vapor barrier. Block walls will likely be built on the interior, with adequate venting and heating to prevent future mold.

Publication date: 05/05/2003