Willingboro High School closes due to mold

WILLINGBORO, N.J. - September 12, 2011

As of Monday, the school will be closed from at least Sept. 12-19.

"What actually went through my mind was how long it has been there in the school and now we're being informed that it is a problem," said Denise Lewis, a concerned parent.

The district says employees at Willingboro High, Memorial Middle, and J.C. Stuart Elementary schools, all reported mold last week.

"Now it's a concern. What are the kids doing for an entire week out of school, they're losing a lot of school and may fall behind," said Lewis.

At Monday night's school board meeting, new Superintendent Dr. Ronald Taylor and other board members got quite an ear-full from upset parents. Many of them believe that the mold problem is more widespread.

Several people think a few of the schools, some of which are 60 years old, weren't ready to be opened in the first place, due to summer renovations and the merging of two schools.

There is also the possibility that the mold issue stems from the recent rainy weather conditions.

Dr. Taylor says the district is trying to do what's best for their students.

"I have a daughter of my own and I wouldn't do anything for these kids that I wouldn't do for her. I wouldn't put any staff members in harm's way," he said.

Even though other schools in the district like Memorial Middle School are still open, Charlene Moore says she doesn't want her child in that building.

"No not until they find out exactly what's wrong, the severity of it and they fix it," said Moore

For now, the closure will affect students and teachers only.

Only employees and staff members approved by the Office of the Superintendent of Schools will be allowed to enter the school.

All extra-curricular activities, including sports are also cancelled until the school officially reopens.

The district is now checking all seven of its schools for mold. They are also looking into how the students will make up for their missed days.

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