YMCA addresses concerns about possible black mold NW Huntsville preschool, announces renovations

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Black mold at a preschool! The thought of it immediately gets the attention of parents.

The YMCA closed a center in northwest Huntsville in October of 2013 due to concerns related to the discovery.  Parents contacted us to see what is taking so long to re-open the center.

WHNT News 19 called the Heart of the Valley YMCA's central office.

“The YMCA’s first priority is for the health and safety of our children and also for the staff who care for them,” said YMCA spokeswoman Mary Anne Swanstrom.

Swanstrom said the building was closed so crews could determine what the substance was.

“Immediately, we shut the facility down, made sure everyone was out, so we could mitigate the issue,” added Swanstrom.

The substance was later determined to be mildew, not black mold.  Swanstrom said the renovations were still needed to make sure it was clean and wouldn't harbor mildews or any molds in the future.

During the closure, YMCA management split the staff and children into two groups. Management temporarily transferred one group to a facility downtown and the other to a facility in south Huntsville.

Parents expected their children would return to their home facility in March 2014.  However, seven months later, the building remains closed as workers renovate the inside.

“That's going to take care of the problems and create a beautiful center for the children in this community,” added Swanstrom.

The renovations will cost $150,000. The YMCA only has a preschool. The city of Huntsville owns YMCA's building on Blue Spring Road. The city and YMCA administrators are splitting the cost of renovations.