Malibu High Mold Concerns – Results Within Acceptable Limits, Says Superintendent

Saturday, 12 Oct 2013, 12:34:00 PM

Brenton Garen

Preliminary results for mold concerns at Malibu High School have been found within acceptable limits, according to Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District superintendent Sandra Lyon.

Lyon said the SMMUSD has received preliminary results for the mold testing performed on Sept. 20 and Oct. 4 based on teachers’ initial requests regarding concerns about their health and room environment.

“These results are for classrooms 2, 3, 10, and 14,” Lyon said. “The report finds that the results are well within acceptable limits and in most cases are well below the levels measured outside. The preliminary report states that measured levels coupled with field observations do not suggest a hidden source of mold and that the building can continue to be occupied and should not pose a health hazard from a mold standpoint.”

The final testing report, when completed, will be posted to the website: http://fipcontractors.smmusd.org/malIbu-community-outreach.aspx.

Earlier information regarding the soils project can also be found on the website.

Lyon said that while this new preliminary report indicates the building is safe in the context of mold, there is currently no plan to occupy these classrooms or the music room until comprehensive testing is conducted to address the community's concerns.

Lyon said an independent, experienced environmental health and safety firm has been retained as many of the issues identified are outside the expertise of District personnel.

“Effective immediately, we have retained Mark Katchen, from the Phylmar Group, to assume the lead role in identification, analysis, implementation and recommendations for all testing required at the facilities,” she said. “His impressive credentials and experience with private and public organizations, including schools, will help guide the District and ensure all necessary tests are identified and implemented in order to respond to the issues raised by the community.”

Lyon said Katchen would be on site at Malibu High School and Cabrillo Elementary School this Monday and Tuesday to conduct a comprehensive review of the campuses and to speak with staff, in order to begin gathering necessary information to develop a comprehensive assessment plan. Additionally he is reviewing all documents associated with the soils project and all previous testing results.

“Katchen will be working with a community task force to receive input and craft the action plan and timelines,” she said.

Additionally an email address for questions has been established: malibufaq@smmusd.org.

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