Concern: Lake Elkhorn Middle School: January 8th, 2021 (CXLEMS20210001A1)

various classrooms throughout the building
Date of IEQ Report Form
Date of Report
Mold was found on over 20 staff chairs throughout the building. The chairs were not all in one location at any point in time.
IEQ Investigation Process

Identify deficiencies that may impact IEQ and/or sources of odor concerns. Typically includes the following depending on the nature of concern, but not limited to:

  • interview/questionnaire of concern individual(s)
  • inspection above drop ceiling (condition of roof deck, pipe insulation, return air plenum)
  • inspection of ventilation system (operation of variable air volume box and outdoor air dampers, check controls, measurements of carbon dioxide, temperature and relative humidity, sources near outdoor air intake, measure return and supply air volume, cleanliness of coils, liner and condensate pan)
  • inspection of exterior
  • inspection below drop ceiling (housekeeping, sink and floor drain traps, signs of past and present moisture concern via visual and/or moisture meter, mold growth, ensure connection of current and capping of abandoned sanitary vents, odorizers, excessive plants and fabric items, identify potential pathways, and measure volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, and lighting)

Date(s) of Assessment: January 11, 14, and 15, 2021

The classrooms with impacted chairs were "tagged" by the custodian for further assessment by the Office of the Environment.

Various surfaces were assessed in each tagged room to include tables, desks, chairs, casework, etc. 

The following locations contained upholstered chairs that were impacted by mold growth:

  • 93, 94, 96, 99, 100, 101, 126, 127, 129, 133, and 134

No other materials were impacted in the rooms above, only the upholstered chairs (generally this was only 1 or 2 per classroom).

Room 132 - One small student desk had light to moderate mold growth on the bottom of the desk (wood). This was the only desk of this construction in the room. No other materials were impacted.

Room 97 - Moderate mold growth was observed on the inside of the cabinetry. 

Room 111 - This room was significantly more impacted then others in comparison. Light to moderate mold growth was observed on various shelves. A few miscellaneous items in the adjoining prep room were also impacted (upholstered chair and a drawer). 

While assessing the prep room adjoining Room 111 an unrelated plumbing leak was identified in association with the prep room sink. Wood shelving underneath the sink had been damaged by water. No mold growth was identified.

In the Office of the Environment's experience, the mold growth observed likely occurred from an extended period of elevated relative humidity (summer). This likely went unnoticed due to building closures related to COVID-19.

Building Maintenance (HVAC) was requested to review the summer time operations of the HVAC system and noted the following:

  • The chilled water trends for the cooling season were reviewed and were found to be acceptable.
  • There were no major maintenance activities over the summer that would have required the chiller to be shut-down for an extended period of time.
  • The discharge air temperature of the Variable Air Volume (VAV) boxes may be too high to assist in dehumidification.

Room 111 may have been more impacted due to the evaporation of water from a fish tank in the room.

On January 14 and 15, the Office of the Environment  performed an IEQ walkthrough of the school to attempt to identify other areas that may have been impacted by mold growth. No other areas were identified. However, after the walkthrough a potentially impact cello case was brought to the attention of the office of the environment.

The room containing the cello case was assessed. Three cello cases were in question. These cases were observed to have dust, debris, and/or stains on them. The anomalies were not "definitive" mold growth as observed in the areas noted above. These items were cleaned/disinfected as a precaution.

Corrective Actions
January 14th, 2021

Custodial Services cleaned/disinfected the upholstered chairs in other miscellaneous items with the exception of Room 111. The Office of the Environment inspected the materials on January 14 and no mold growth was observed. Items with residual staining were discarded (two chairs).

January 14th, 2021

A board-approved restoration contractor cleaned/disinfected the impacted materials within Room 111. The remainder of the room was also cleaned as a precaution. Various items such as rocks and fossils were not cleaned to avoid damage as requested by the teacher. No mold growth was observed on these items or the shelving they sat on, so they did not necessarily require cleaning. 

January 19th, 2021

Building Maintenance (HVAC) manipulated the HVAC controls to lower the discharge air temperature to further assist in dehumidification during the cooling season. The Office of the Environment and Building Maintenance will place data loggers in the school this cooling season to further assess the cause.

January 19th, 2021

Building Maintenance (Plumbing) assessed the sink in the prep room adjoining Room 111. The leak had apparently been previously corrected. After Plumbing confirmed the leak had been corrected, Building Maintenance (Carpentry) removed the water damaged cabinet components and replaced them.

Date Closed
Tracking Number