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Mold growth confirmed in flooring and ducts at Largo charter school

It was hiding under the flooring in the hallways and floated through the air in classrooms. When it was finally discovered, it released an intense musty odor. The hidden problem that was uncovered at a Largo charter school as mold.

A report confirmed what faculty and parents of students were fearing the most: mold and particles that can lead to serious health problems at the Plato Academy Largo.

The charter school hired a consultant to test the air quality in the school. The results indicated that the air quality was adequate and found that no imminent health concerns existed within Plato Largo’s modular building, which houses middle school students. However, the consultant did say that there were moisture and mold problems that needed to be resolved promptly in order to avoid potential long-term exposure.

“Occupants with debilitated immune systems or susceptible to house dust (including mold) should be encouraged to consult with their physician for advice,” the report read.

The Superior Schools CEO, Steve Christopoulos, which manages Plato schools, said that the experts described the mold findings as “typical… found in just above every commercial building,” He hired Pure Air Control Services, which completed the testing and compiled the report, and cleaned the air ducts, which cost more than $15,00. The bill was paid for by the school. The report also recommended additional assessments before the floors are repaired.

“They have inspected thousands of schools and they have found that particular building to be in much better condition,” Christopoulos said.

Plato Largo houses about 350 students.

The report stated that moisture in the floor was significantly elevated throughout the building. Peeled up tiles appeared to be warped as a result of moisture and discoloration and mold growth and a strong odor was also found. Inspectors also revealed that there were heightened levels of mold spores in the classroom air vents, as well as the floor tiles and the hallway.

Opaque particles, which are “significant from a health/allergy point of view, especially in the case of respiratory disorder,” were found to be at an abnormally high level on student tables.

Items that were believed to contain mold growth were removed from the school when the assessment took place. Supply air grilles were also well cleaned. Dehumidifiers were installed in the school, as per the recommendations of the experts.

The board that governs Plato Largo, ordered the test after numerous parents said that they weren’t convinced the site visits that were conducted by the Pinellas County School District and the Florida Department of Health found that there wasn’t any mold.

“I think if they respond property to this report, things will be okay,” Rick Wolfe, the director of the charter school, said.

Mold Inspection & Testing Tallahassee has years of experience performing mold assessments throughout the area. We recommend Plato Largo arrange for comprehensive mold testing to determine if the school is safe for students and faculty. To speak with an MI&T representative, call 850.629.0119.