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Mold Concerns Prompt Probe Of School In Fairfield

Timothy Dwight Elementary School in Fairfield. Photo Credit: Google Maps
One of the walls that was tested at Timothy Dwight Elementary School in Fairfield. Photo Credit: Woodard & Cullen

Another Fairfield County school is being investigated for mold issues after parents and staff members raised health concerns over the conditions in the classroom.

Timothy Dwight Elementary School on Redding Road in Fairfield launched an investigation earlier this month, hiring an environmental testing firm to assess the conditions of several classrooms in the building. They are currently conducting air sample tests, with results expected next week.

According to officials, no mold was discovered in the classrooms, although there were complaints of damp conditions and strange odors from educators. The intensive investigation was launched after a photo of a kindergarten classroom was spread on social media.

“The kindergarten classroom picture that has circulated on social media, is a classroom that was inspected by (members of the facilities staff) as a result of teacher and principal concerns,” Superintendent Tori Jones wrote to parents.

“The picture circulating was taken directly beneath a wall‐mounted air conditioning unit. Woodard and Curran inspected the room, opened the wall cavity in that same area and determined that no mold was present. In addition, staff removed the remainder of the trim across the entire wall to ensure the wall was free of any substance.”

The testing comes on the heels of other Fairfield County school districts dealing with mold concerns that forced them to cancel classes.

Jones noted that the odor emanating inside the building was a result of a failed fan actuator that is linked to the septic tank vent pipe, which has led to the smell coming from the bathrooms.

“We are relying on the experts in health and safety to guide us through this process, and we will continue to be transparent with the Dwight community as we request additional testing,” Jones said. “Be assured that if the building were designated unsafe for occupancy, the Department of Health would not allow us to stay at Dwight, and we would relocate all 336 children and staff to alternate locations.”

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