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Howard school system schedules public meeting about mold at Glenwood

Howard County Public Schools officials have scheduled an information session in August to address concerns about mold at Glenwood Middle School. 

According to an email sent to parents Thursday afternoon by Principal Robert Motley, representatives from environmental consultant ARIA Environmental Inc. and Green Building Energy Engineers will be on hand alongside school system staff to discuss the condition of the building on Aug. 19 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the school's cafeteria. The school year starts Aug. 24.

Both companies were involved in inspecting Glenwood Middle School after earlier complaints about mold. ARIA Environmental provided the school system with at least one report detailing the results of humidity and mold spore testing in the fall of 2013. 

Concern about mold in the school, which was built in 1967, has grown since Howard County Public Schools Superintendent Renee Foose acknowledged during a June Board of Education meeting that Glenwood had a recurring issue with mold. Parents say they weren't notified of the problem. 

Motley's email comes a day after the school system sent its own message to parents on Wednesday. The HCPSS email, the first direct communication from the school system to the community that mentions mold, informs parents that a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system that is in the process of being installed will lower humidity levels in the building, which officials believe is the source of the mold. 

"No other chronic moisture problems have been identified" in the school, the unsigned email states. 

The school system plans to test relative humidity levels in the building after the new HVAC system is in place and will share test results with the community, according to the email. 

Parents on a Facebook page created to discuss mold at Glenwood Middle said they wanted more specific information from the school system. 

"As a community, we need to demand confirmation of mold remediation and INDEPENDENT indoor air quality testing of all rooms and inspection of walls and ceilings for presence of mold--This should occur FOLLOWING the completion of the HVAC upgrades, BEFORE the start of the school year," read a post about the email July 22. "We cannot allow our teachers and students into a building without knowing that it is a safe environment."

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