Hinsdale Middle School to reopen; Mold problem closed school for over 2 weeks

After weeks of being out of their school because of a mold problem, Hinsdale Middle School students are preparing to return.
February 3, 2014 8:19:16 PM PST
After weeks of being out of their school because of a mold problem, Hinsdale Middle School students are preparing to return. Doors reopen on Tuesday, and on Monday night, parents got a firsthand look at the result of that long cleanup process.

State officials gave the school a clean bill of health on Monday after reams of drywall and flooring had to be replaced. The cleanup forced students to attend another school temporarily.

Students were back at Hinsdale Middle School on Monday night for the first time in more than two weeks.

"I've been missing having all the teachers in their normal classrooms and getting back to a normal routine," said Grace Piller, student, Hinsdale Middle School.

Administrators offered a tour of the school where frozen pipes burst a month ago, flooding several classrooms. Days after that incident, the discovery of mold would force the school to close.

"We've had to work with both a restoration company and an environmental testing company in order to make sure that this is a safe environment," said Supt. Renee Schuster, Consolidated School District 181.

"Ready to come back to school. I think the kids are excited. We're excited to get them back on a routine," said Sharon Theoharous, parent, Hinsdale Middle School.

For the past week and a half, HMS students have been attending Clarendon Hills Middle School.

It's meant a compressed four-and-a-half hour day for students at both schools; Hills students attending in the morning, with HMS students arriving at noon.

"For like afternoon sports and stuff like that, I have swim practice that starts at 4, and school goes until 4:30," said Isabelle Sterba, student, Hinsdale Middle School.

"Both my parents work in the morning, so I would have to go to a different friend's house every morning at like 9:30," said Samantha Shalgos, student, Hinsdale Middle School.

Meanwhile at HMS, crews added heaters to keep pipes warm. In the badly-damaged science lab, they replaced the floor, removed moldy drywall and cleaned behind cabinets and lab tables.

"Long term, we'll have to see what direction the school goes, but I'm happy with the progress they did," said Steve Piller, parent, Hinsdale Middle School.

The superintendent says there are still long-term building issues that need to be addressed, including an aging roof and some areas where leaks have been a problem. But for now, the school will be open for students Tuesday morning.

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