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DOE runs more tests on toxic school; parents still uneasy

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Jean Belford’s little girl should be a first grader at PS 114 in Belle Harbor.

But since Sandy hit, she has been going to school in Brooklyn because Belford has been concerned her child’s school is not up to snuff on its Sandy cleanup.

Belford was one of many parents who sat in the auditorium of the school, demanding the DOE do mold and moisture tests to make sure their kids are truly safe to be back at school. A mere month ago, PS 114 took in nearly five feet of water from Superstorm Sandy.

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PS114 took in five feet of water from Superstorm Sandy.

“We just wanted to make sure that what we’ve been doing in our own homes, taking down walls, making sure no mold was taking place at the school,” said Belford.

In that meeting on Monday, the DOE assured parents, that they checked for mold and moisture and everything was fine.  Parents were still concerned, so Chancellor Walcott agreed to have more tests done.

According to the investigation, contractors say they indeed found “light mold growth” on the stage in that very auditorium. They also found the wooden baseboards to be “saturated” with “25-100% moisture,” to the point where they recommend the stage “stairwell be removed,”  as well as an “inspection by a qualified building engineer to ensure structural integrity” of the stage.

There was one other concern parents like Belford had; the water quality.

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Concerned parents demanded more tests to ensure the school was safe for their children.

The results of another test show the drinking water was “acceptable for consumption.”

“No one had a road map with how this should go,” said Belford. “I’m pleased with the way they are reacting to our concerns, really.”

Despite the positive direction, Belford is still not quite ready to bring her daughter back to PS 114.

“I will but I think, but I’m going to give it a few more days, see how it plays out,” said Belford.