By Robin Rieger
SOMERS POINT, N.J. (CBS)– There is a quiet, empty playground where children’s laughter should fill the air. It’s next to the Dawes Avenue School in Somers Point, New Jersey sitting empty on what was supposed to be the first day of a new school year.
“We were excited. Teachers were ready to go,” said Pre-K through 8th grade school district superintendent Jeff Miller. But as custodians were cleaning the primary media center in the Jordan Road School Friday he says they noticed mold on several surfaces.
“It was in the carpeting, it was on some shelving, it was on some ceiling tiles,” said Miller.
Crews started dehumidifying and cleaning the building, but on Tuesday discovered more mold in adjacent rooms.
“The air conditioning systems may not have been working efficiently enough to take care of the high humidity that’s been around this summer,” said Miller.
Mold can impact those with allergies and respiratory problems. As a precaution all three schools in the 1100 student district will stay closed until Monday for testing and cleaning if necessary.
“We want a safe environment,” said Miller.
“I’m not working right now so it wasn’t that big of an inconvenience, however she’s definitely ready to go back,” said Stacey Jacob.
Her daughter Lexi was asked if she was disappointed she couldn’t go to school today.
“Not really,” said Lexi Jacob.
Boogie boards for a trip to the beach replaced her school supplies.
Somers Point isn’t the only district dealing with mold issues. Weymouth Elementary School near Mays landing is scheduled to open next Tuesday now instead of tomorrow. The superintendent said mildew was spotted in a classroom on a walk thru last week. After cleaning the school is expected to be retested
In Somers Point the delayed start will be added to the end of the school year.