Monday, July 15, 2019


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Mold Cleanup Could Cost $1 Million
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            Last week, the Upper Perkiomen School Board approved a $500,000 payment to the company hired to clean up mold at the high school. The total mitigation cost is expected to reach $1 million, according to Sandra Kassel, the district's business administrator.

            Kassel offered the estimate following the board's Oct. 11 public meeting.  "We're not sure if the insurance company is going to accept our claim," she said.

            The district is seeking reimbursement from its insurance company, according to Kassel. She said officials submit the invoices as they are received from BELFOR, the agency hired to clean up mold in the high school.

            As part of its financial reports, the members approved the payment to BELFOR USA Group, Inc. with check #43 from a money market account with Univest Bank. Email messages to Kassel and Superintendent Alexis McGloin requesting an itemized description of the invoice from BELFOR were not returned.

            In early September, district officials closed the school for a week while crews from 1Source and BELFOR two "nationally- and globally-renown, well-established companies"  treated those mold and moisture problems which mostly impacted classrooms in the 100 and 200 wings, as well as the guidance and the main office, according to Nicole Gum, a communication specialist for the district.

            Crews cleaned every classroom in the impacted wing whether mold was discovered or not, according to Harry Neil, a vice president with 1Source, a company brought in by BELFOR. 

            Ray Felix, with BELFOR, told the members each room was swept with a HEPA vacuum, wiped down and swept again. Neil said crews from his company acted as a third-party inspector, and that based on the post-cleanup air samples there is less mold inside the building than outside.

            According to Felix, multiple HVAC ducts located in the oldest portion of the building – which opened in 1968 – were replaced. During the Sept. 30 board meeting, he announced that crews replaced several pieces of duct work that could not be cleaned.

            He added that every portion of duct work that could not be cleaned was removed. Felix also told the members that the school's HVAC system was healthy and well maintained, and suggested they upgrade certain portions of the system over the next five years.





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