UNCW and NHCS Statement Regarding Limited Mold at Isaac Bear Early College

Saturday, November 02, 2013

On October 15, 2013, New Hanover County Schools maintenance staff discovered what was suspected to be mold while doing routine preventive maintenance at Isaac Bear Early College. In response to this discovery, New Hanover County Schools and UNCW began coordinating efforts to apply a very aggressive remediation strategy to protect the health and safety of Isaac Bear Early College students, staff and faculty.

UNCW's Environmental Health & Safety and Physical Plant teams immediately investigated, sampled, and confirmed a limited mold presence inside HVAC ductwork on October 16. (All sampling activities are conducted under direction of an independent air quality contractor according to industry best practices.) Upon receipt of the analytical results on October 18, UNCW staff performed a more complete facility assessment, developed a remediation plan per UNCW's standard operating procedure, and, on Thursday, October 31, shared that plan with NHC School Administration, at which point the plan was agreed upon for immediate activation on Friday.

Remediation plans are underway. These plans include:

  • Baseline air sampling (Friday, 11/1/13 - completed).
  • Cleaning ductwork, gaseous treatment of ductwork with an appropriate disinfectant, second cleaning of ductwork. In addition to ductwork, disinfectant was applied to all surfaces inside trailer (Friday, 11/1/13-Sunday, 11/3/13).
  • Students will be relocated to UNCW facilities until test results are received (Monday, 11/4/13).
  • Follow-up air sampling; wipedown of classroom surfaces (Monday, 11/4/13).
  • Anticipated date of test results: Tuesday, 11/5/13
  • Assuming favorable test results, students will be returned to Isaac Bear (late Tuesday, 11/5/13 or Wednesday, 11/6/13).
  • Encapsulate (paint) inside of ductwork (Friday 11/8/13- Monday 11/11/13. Please note that 11/11/13 is Veterans Day; New Hanover County Schools are closed and students will not be present during painting.).
  • Follow-up air sampling (Monday 11/11/13, with results anticipated late Tuesday, 11/12/13).

The aggressive approach taken by UNCW and New Hanover County Schools addresses the minimal level of microbial growth in this facility. As each phase of this investigation is completed, results will be made available to all involved parties, including parents with students in the affected building, and continuous monitoring will be conducted to prevent recurrence.