Sat. May 18th, 2024

Peabody Elementary School to remain closed until ‘at least fall break’ due to mold

By Action News 5 Staff

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – Students and staff at Peabody Elementary School will be relocated until at least fall break due to mold that was detected on the campus’ first floor, according to Memphis-Shelby County Schools.

Beginning on Thursday, September 14, all Peabody K-5 students and staff will temporarily relocate to the first floor of Middle College High School, located at 750 East Parkway South.

Additionally, Pre-K students will attend W.H. Brewster Elementary, located at 2605 Sam Cooper Boulevard, in accordance with federal space guidelines for Pre-K.

To ensure a smooth transition, MSCS will provide crossing guards, security officers, and additional support staff.

MSCS outlined the schedule for the remainder of the week:

  • Tuesday: No school for students; teachers will be preparing classrooms.
  • Wednesday: No school for students; teachers will continue to prepare classrooms. A brief parent orientation will be held.
  • Thursday, 8:15 a.m.: Peabody classes resume (at Middle College)

Regular bus routes will continue for bus riders.

For those who walk or require additional transportation, an extra bus service will be provided. The bus will arrive at Peabody at 7:15 a.m. and 7:50 a.m., and it will return to Peabody for dismissal at 3:30 daily. This additional bus transportation will not affect the current bus routes and is being offered as an added convenience.

MSCS staff say throughout this closure, they have been working in four stages to allow a safe return for students and staff which include: mitigation, testing, deep cleaning, and determining the next steps for the school.

This comes after mold was detected last Thursday by school officials and the school closed Friday and Monday.

MSCS says the cause of the mold is from recent storms.

The mold was detected on the first floor only, but the entire school is closed as a precaution.

Over the weekend, MSCS facilities crews and outside contractors worked to remove mold from the ductwork and grates on the first floor of the historic building, constructed in 1909.

Officials say significant progress has been made, however, the complexity of the job has “exceeded our initial expectations due to the historical nature of the structure.”

MSCS leaders say the school is one of 33 schools that is more than 70 years old.

They say they will continue to advocate for funds to address aging infrastructure in all schools.

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