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CARBONDALE — Kids attending Unity Point 140 this year will get a few extra days of summer.

After staff returned to the school building after the Fourth of July holiday, they noticed a problem with the HVAC system.

“Staff came back to find it extremely hot and humid in the building,” Unity Point School Board President D.W. Presley said. Several air tests were conducted, and identified 17 classrooms that tested positive for mold.

However, Presley said this number grew some weeks later. Presley said schools often undertake construction projects during the summer, and this summer part of the school was sealed off for asbestos abatement. After this was completed, the number of affected classrooms went from 17 to 30.

A letter was sent July 29 to parents announcing that school would not begin until Aug. 28. At the time the letter was written, the district was unsure what this delay meant for the last day of the school year. However, Presley said Thursday that, provided all five snow days are used during the year, the last day will be June 12.

In the rooms where mold was found, Presley said everything that can be cleaned will be, while porous items, like ceiling tiles, will be replaced. He was unable to give a cost for the work — he said it was still be tallied. The letter sent to families assured them that air quality would be tested and deemed safe before students and teachers returned.

The letter also says that should a further delay be needed, it will be communicated to families as soon as is possible.

Presley recognized the hardship a delayed start might have on some families who may have already arranged child care or find themselves in need of a place to send their kids during the day. He said the Boys and Girls Club in Carbondale extended an offer to all Unity Point parents to accept their kids into the program during the gap. No membership is required.

Those interested are encouraged to call the BGC at 618-457 8877.

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isaac.smith@thesouthern.com

618-351-5823

On Twitter: @ismithreports

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Isaac Smith is a reporter covering Jackson County.

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