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Tri-City School District Battles Mold and Bacteria
Officials at the Tri-City School in Buffalo are dealing with mold and bacteria found in multiple rooms in the building.
The high school girls locker room represents the biggest trouble spot for bacteria. That's why it's been completely closed to students for the last couple of weeks.
Now before girls like Kitty Justice start practice or PE, they have to get dressed in the girls bathroom outside the gym.
"Well it's relatively annoying," Justice said. "It gets really hot in there and it's really crowded having 24 girls in a two-stall bathroom."
Superintendent H. David Bruno has been meeting with Occupational Environmental Health Solutions to figure exactly what they're dealing with.
A total of four rooms were closed off, including two classrooms, a girls bathroom in the elementary wing, and, of course, the locker room.
"They're wouldn't be any exposure unless somebody ate their lunch off the floor," James Barnes of OEHS said. "That's where it is. It's not in the air. And a couple of classrooms, there's a little bit of mold in the air, but it's really not significant, but it needs to be cleaned up or it will get worse."
Barnes said none of the bacteria or mold found at Tri-City is deadly.
"There's a hundred thousand kinds of mold," Barnes said. "There's 60 that can cause people to get sick. It doesn't kill anybody. It can make you feel bad. It's an allergic reaction you have to mold. As soon as you get away from the exposure, the symptoms go away and don't come back, unless you're re-exposed."
They believe the locker room mold was caused by a sewage backup on the floor, but the rest may be due to the reality of the building.
"We have a 1938 building," Bruno said. "It's old. We have a lot of repairs that we continually try to keep up on. Do things pop up at times just as this did? Yes, but we do our best do that. When it comes to the safety of the kids, it is the most important factor that we have."
The old locker from 1938 isn't a palace by any means, but the girls will likely have a new appreciation for it once it's cleaned and they're out of the tiny bathroom.
"Yes, it's gonna be nice to get downstairs and get dressed instead of running around, and not be crowded with a bunch of junior high kids," Justice said.
OEHS is still waiting for a couple of their samples to come back from the laboratory.
Once that's done, they will develop a remediation plan, and the Tri-City district plans to implement that immediately.
Reporting in Buffalo, Mike Brooks, ABC NewsChannel 20.