Yonkers school closed after toxic mold discovery prompts evacuation

YONKERS — A Yonkers school will stay closed closed on Tuesday after officials discovered toxic mold, prompting an emergency evacuation on Monday.

“Our Paideia School 15 family has been notified of the emergency maintenance situation and the students and faculty all have been safely evacuated to our designed emergency location,” Superintendent Dr. Edwin Quezada said in a statement.

Monday's evacuation of Paideia School 15 prompted a heated meeting with administrators and parents, who expressed concern about their kids health.

"They had no issues all summer," said parent Kerri Burke. "She'd break out in hives last year and the year before. I had to take her to the emergency every other week. It only happens during the school year."

On Monday, 25 percent of tests done at the school came back positive for black mold after spots were seen on ceiling tiles. During Monday's meeting, parents said these mold problems have been present for years.

"Somebody put this on the back burner," said parent Frank Krimelbein. "Mold takes weeks, months, years. It didn't develop the first two weeks of school.

Following Monday's discovery, 600 students and teachers at Paideia School 15 were immediately evacuated.

"I got very scared," said student Bridget Burke. "On the loud speaker they said to drop everything and get out of the classroom and meet in the hallways."

Superintendent Quezada announced students in pre-k through fifth grade will be shuffled to Dodson School on Wednesday, while fifth through seventh graders will head to Roosevelt High School.

Parents objected, saying they don't want their younger kids to be exposed to the high school environment just yet.

“We will be contacting families early this evening to update them on the status of the abatement and when the building will reopen. We appreciate everyone’s patience and cooperation during this time,” Quezada said.

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