Media gets look at Key MS

March 25, 2008 10:42:17 AM PDT
HISD is giving the media a look at the $3 million dollars worth of improvements to Key Middle School. The northeast Houston school was closed six months ago, after dozens of people complained that something in the school was making them sick.

The Center for Disease Control felt the school was suffering from 'damp building syndrome' and that may have caused several staff members and some students to become sick.

Over the last six months Key Middle school has gone under a transformation. The carpet has been removed from majority of the school. Extensive work has been done on the air conditioning and ventilation systems. All the textbooks and library books are also brand new.

There are many in the community who are thankful Key is re-opening with some much needed improvements. However, others feel this school needs more work. Since September, the 600 students from Key have been sharing space with students at Fleming Middle School, which is about two miles away.

While recent tests show that the air inside the building was safe and the building was clean, another test also showed that there were still problems in three areas of the school so they are waiting on test results to come back tomorrow to see if those problems still exist.

Those problems showed that there was still above average levels of mold in the choir, band and auditorium rooms.

"We had three areas that still had not cleared as we refer to it and we did further testing yesterday and we should see those results today," said Travis West with BAQ Incorporated. "And when we do we will write a letter to the district saying again, hopefully that the indoor levels of mold are equal to or lower than what you find outdoors."

"Those areas, students will not report into those areas. If they are not cleared by tomorrow we do have a plan in place, Plan B, that we will move two classes and those students are the band and the choir students. So, we will hold classes in other areas," said Mable Caleb, Principal of Key Middle School.

Students are set to return to Key tomorrow and the principal and the company that have been doing the air quality testing say that they are very confident that the building is safe. The principal even held a meeting in the auditorium with teachers.

At least two teachers will not be returning to Key Middle School. Those teachers became sick last year and during the fall and they felt they were still subjective to the school and they are still suffering with respiratory issues.

This afternoon a group of ministers will hold a press conference over their concerns of the air quality in the school. That will be held at 4:30pm at the school.

- Headlines at a glance


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