TN Tatem declared safe
TN Tatem Middle School is safe for pupils and staff, a government representative said yesterday.
The spokeswoman for the Ministry of Education said facilities at the Warwick public school “are safe for teaching and learning”.
She added: “While there may be some ongoing minor challenges, the school’s administration, with the steadfast backing of the Ministry and Department of Education and the full support of the Minister of Education, will continue to make the safety, health and wellbeing of teachers and students alike, a top priority.
“This promise will remain whilst efforts continue to rectify all outstanding issues that can be addressed immediately, as well as through works already scheduled relating to the school’s facilities to be undertaken during the summer period.”
The spokeswoman was speaking a day after the ministry advised of a room closure at the school after “potential mould” was found. She said yesterday that the Department of Education had been contacted about the possible mould on February 5. The spokeswoman said that sections of a drywall partition in Room 224 showed signs of “historical water damage”.
She added that it had been recommended that the drywall between rooms 224 and 225 be dismantled and replaced with a new drywall partition.
The ministry said on Monday that a mould assessment at the school was to begin that day. All preschools, primary schools and middle schools had been inspected earlier this school year and a second round of inspections “for this school year commenced this month”.
The spokeswoman said that schools were inspected between September 17 and October 11.
She added: “The facilities team is inspecting all schools now to assess what repairs and maintenance work will be undertaken during the summer months when school is out.”
Garita Coddington, the head teacher at TN Tatem, directed questions yesterday to the Department of Communications.
The announcement this week is not the first time TN Tatem has been affected by mould concerns. Staff and pupils were forced to relocate to Clearwater Middle School, in St David’s, for several weeks beginning in December 2016.
Wayne Scott, then minister of education in the One Bermuda Alliance government, told the House of Assembly in February 2017 that $93,000 had been disbursed for repairs and mould remediation at the school.
An indoor air-quality assessment was also carried out in five rooms at the school in September 2016.
Island Air Quality Services said the results indicated concerns related to airborne moulds in art classroom supply rooms along with another classroom.
The report added: “Of particular note is the presence of the toxigenic moulds Stachybotrys and Chaetomium in the art supply rooms.”
The report recommended ensuring that windows were water tight, daily ventilation of rooms by having windows opened, and regular serving of air-conditioning units.
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