As a precaution, some athletic practices at Terre Haute North Vigo High School were delayed Thursday as the result of early-December air quality testing that showed mold/air quality levels in the gyms were somewhat “outside the norm.”

The district received results Thursday, which prompted a delay or postposting of practices in the auxiliary gym and main gym, said Rob Haworth, district superintendent. Both gyms were immediately cleaned, and some of the practices occurred later in the day.

The levels tested were not viewed as a significant issue, he said.

Each year, the district does air quality checks, Haworth said. The December indoor air quality testing was done by ACM Engineering and Environmental Services.

At North Vigo, the “normal” mold count range (based on comparative outdoor air samples) was 430, and air quality tests in the gyms were in the high 400s and 500 range, Haworth said.

In contrast, when West Vigo High School had serious mold problems in August 2016, some of the classrooms had mold counts at 5,000 to 7,000, with the highest about 31,000.

Last month, the North Vigo gyms also were cleaned after high concentrations of mold were found on the school’s gymnasium upper-level bleachers. That and an IOSHA complaint outlining other concerns prompted the school district to contact the health department and develop an action plan to address the problems, Haworth said at the time.

Last month, the health department said the school district responded promptly and appropriately in addressing the mold.

While significant cleaning took place last month and could have also addressed the issues identified in the early December air testing, those results didn’t come back until Thursday.

“We’re not taking any chances,” Haworth said. “We went back through and cleaned again today [Thursday],” in both North Vigo gyms.

“There is a greater sense of awareness right now, specifically I think for North,” he said. “We’re trying to be transparent.”

Because of problems with mold at West Vigo High School in August 2016, the district now does annual testing for air quality in schools, he said.

Two other schools, Deming and Terre Town elementary schools, also were tested in early December and results identified some issues.

“Crews were cleaning and addressing those areas as well,” Haworth said.

At Terre Town, air tests indicated an elevated concentration of mold spores in the cafeteria relative to the outdoor air sample, while at Deming, a surface tape lift sampling was conducted of a small amount of mold on a ceiling tile.

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