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Mercy High is set to begin school year Tuesday; cleanup of mold is complete Classes at city facility were delayed a week

The Baltimore Sun
By Linda Linley
Sun Staff
Originally published September 5, 2003 (Excerpt)

With the cleanup of mold in first-floor classrooms completed, Mercy High School will begin its school year Tuesday, a week later than originally planned.

Sister Carol Wheeler, Mercy's principal, delayed the Sept. 2 opening for the 514 students at the all-girls Catholic high school in Northeast Baltimore while environmental specialists removed carpeting, cleaned classrooms and tested the air quality.

"Full cleaning of all mold-affected areas has been completed according to Environmental Protection Agency guidelines and samplings and inspections have determined that these areas are clean," Wheeler said this week.

The mold was discovered Aug. 14 in first-floor classrooms in the east wing of the two-story building. Two-thirds of the faculty teach classes in that wing. Carpeting was removed and is being replaced with tiles in 14 classrooms, though five of the rooms were mold-free. The tiling work is expected to be finished today.

Wheeler attributed the mold problem to recently cleaned classroom carpets, combined with the summer's heavy rainfall and high humidity that apparently kept the carpets from drying and produced ample conditions for mold growth.

Health officials say that mold spores can cause breathing problems and eye irritation, particularly for people with respiratory ailments.

Similar Story: The Boston Globe August 2003

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