Mold issue addressed at Madison Elementary School

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MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) - Earlier this week WHNT News 19 viewer Jessica Smith emailed us with pictures and concerns over potential mold issues inside historic Madison Elementary School.

This picture of a moldy ceiling tile in an ISS classroom had been circulating through inboxes of Madison Elementary School parents (PHOTO: Jessica Smith)

This picture of a moldy ceiling tile in an ISS classroom had been circulating through inboxes of Madison Elementary School parents (PHOTO: Jessica Smith)

The CDC indicates that no mold is safe and all mold could potentially cause upper respiratory issues for children.  Certainly, some mold is more harmful than others, but no mold is necessarily good. So we decide to take action and look into the matter.

We found out Madison City Schools are constantly inspecting school building throughout the entire calendar year - not just during school months.

Dennis James, Madison City Schools' Director of student services tells us the mold issue at Madison Elementary is something the district learned about several months ago.

"Right at the end of the school year we did notice a couple of ceiling tiles in Madison Elementary that were showing some moisture. We did have an outside agency, an outside testing company come in and run air quality tests."

James says the report came back indicating the air quality was good. Of course the school district still wanted to address what was causing moisture on the tiles.

"Out of the thousands of tiles inside Madison Elementary school they found a single tile that did have some black mold on it - obviously that is a concern."

They removed the tile in question immediately and determined the moisture was coming from condensation on HVAC pipes.

"And as a matter of fact today, we had scheduled for it to be fixed and today they are out here repairing that section - so we should be good to go," James assures.

Turns out, Madison Elementary stands to benefit from way more than a replaced ceiling tile. There is approximately $1 million in the capital plan budget designated for repairs and improvements to the historic Madison school.

The original structure was erected in 1936 on the previous site of Madison Training School.  It has been upgraded to its present state over subsequent years.  During the summer of 1999, the main campus underwent extensive renovations.  A new media center and gym were completed in 2001.



  • Angry Madison Elementary Parent

    If this issue was learned about several months ago, please explain why the parents have not been notified? Furthermore, this school is in terrible condition and is allowed to be this way while Bob Jones High School is receiving $20 million dollars in upgrades this summer! These upgrades include a coffee bar for the student’s enjoyment. Our children are the ones being hurt here!

  • Angry Madison Elementary Parent

    Please also note that the $1 Million in repairs to Madison Elementary School are not scheduled to be completed until after the 2014-15 school year. So, our children will sit in this for another school year before the HVAC system is replaced.

    • Makes me sick, very dangerous

      I think if I still had my child at Madison Elementary, I would be going to the next school board meeting, Prayers for all the children, teachers and employees at Madison Elementary.

  • Makes me sick, very dangerous

    This is some scary news! I think the report should be in the newspaper or Face Book so all the parents can see what the report said, Black Mold not only covers upper respiratory issues,. but also can cause immune deficiencies and quite a few other health issues. For the tiles to be so bad they need to inspect the entire school, in the walls and ceilings. It scares me to death to think it is from a leaky AC unit. Lord it’s like reliving the past. Parent’s and teachers have you noticed that once you or your child leaves the school they feel better? Any unusual illnesses? If I were a parent and had my child in Madison Elementary I would want to see that report in full. Who remediated the school building? Mold but Black mold is especially dangerous to children. I would not be sending my child back next year if the repairs were not made. The mold will continue to grow and spread if they have not resolved the issue and are still planning on using the same HVAC until they can afford to repair, I’d say forget it. My staff and I are walking examples of what mold exposure does to your health and immune system. Very serious and if thy replaced the tiles they found with ANY kind of mold the spores are now airborne. I don’t understand knowing this why the school system doesn’t it fix it immediately!!
    This all takes me back 7 or 8 years ago, please take it seriously, very dangerous!!! Turns my stomach to read what Angry Madison Elementary Parent wrote about no repairs until after 2014/15 school year.

  • Debi Davis

    I was on vacation a few weeks ago and got to talking to a lady who had been a teacher in Huntsville at the same school for over twenty years. She was very concerned about asbestos that had been found in the school where she worked. I believe she said that the school was to be repaired or torn down this next year. She stated that the school system knew of this problem for a while, but had done nothing to remedy this problem. This is also very very dangerous to students and teachers alike. Parents need to ask around if this is the same school as the mold was found in. These teachers and students need to be tested for asbestosis and mold. These things may not show up for years. It is not always immediate. I know first hand and it is not good. A regular chest X-Ray does not always show this. It takes a deep chest X-ray to find this problem. The only place that I know of that does these deep chest X-rays in in Tupelo, Miss. I live in Florence, so I do realize that it is a long way to go to be tested, but it could save a life if you’re child was at this school for a number of years. Sorry that I don’t know the name of school, guess I wasn’t listening that close. As soon as I read this I thought about our conversation and thought it may be of interest to parents in Huntsville. Good luck.

    • Makes me sick, very dangerous

      Rich, I agree with you. Looked like more than one tile to me as well. Everyone needs to take this seriously, my staff that use to work in a building in the City of Madison was exposed to Black Mold and other molds and now our immune systems are compromised, diabetics, barretts esophagus, Reflux, MS, demyelination disease and many other health issues. This is a very serious matter and I hope the Madison School Board takes a long hard look at this mold issue at Madison Elementary and get that HVAC and all other issues taken care of before the new school year. No child, teacher or employee should ever go back in to that school until all issues have been taken care of. Prayers for everyone that will be attending Madison Elementary this fall.

  • Rich DeThomas

    I can’t believe you allowed him to say “one” tile had a “little black mold” and there was no further discussion. Where’s the follow-up questions? Where is the true investigative reporting! There are a lot more than 1 tiles with mold in this school.1 Million dollars in updates are scheduled for WHEN?? There wasn’t any mention of when the fund would actually be appropriated and the updates would start. This issue needs more attention and any parent sending their kid to this school should call the health department and ask them to investigate.

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