Greenville News -- Mold forced the closure of five classrooms at Greer High School on Wednesday, and excessive moisture in 12 others could cause them to be closed today, school officials said.
Meanwhile, tests at Mauldin High showed a continued "moderate level" of mold in a football locker room that has been closed since before the start of school Monday, district spokesman Oby Lyles said.
"Individuals sensitive to mold may experience allergic responses such as skin irritation, irritated eyes, sore throat, flu-like symptoms, sinus congestion, or respiratory problems," Lyles said. He urged parents who have concerns about their child's health to contact their physician.
Greer High Principal Marion Waters said students were moved out of five classrooms after "trace amounts" of mold were found.
Conditions in 12 other classrooms raised suspicion of possible mold growth there as well, although no students had complained of symptoms, he said.
"I don't think students were very much aware of it," he said.
Wet carpet in two computer labs was ripped up Wednesday and will be replaced with tile, Waters said.
Conditions have been ripe for mold to thrive this summer in the Upstate. An entire 19-room classroom building at Easley High had to be closed for mold and mildew removal before the start of school there.
The high humidity and heat produced "probably kind of the perfect storm" for condensation that creates an environment for mold infestation, Waters said.
Technicians at Greer High were working late into the night Wednesday running tests to determine whether the roomsin question were safe for students to use today. Waters said he expects to get a report from them at 5:30 a.m.
Humidifiers had been brought into the school, and the five rooms where mold had been confirmed had been cleaned by late afternoon, Waters said.
The school has enough space to relocate all 17 classrooms temporarily if necessary, he said.
At Mauldin High, mold had been found in two locker rooms and in the cafeteria, Lyles said.
The environmental engineering firmconsulting the school district on that school's problems recommended further cleaning of the cellulose fireproofing material above the sheetrock ceiling in one of the locker rooms. The district is replacing the material instead, "as a preventive and precautionary measure," Lyles said. That will require keeping the locker room closed until sometime next week, he said.
The other locker room and the cafeteria have been cleared for occupancy, he said.
By Ron Barnett