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Pool will remain open

"School Board members who had been holding their breath waiting for a report from an environmental specialist about mold found at North Kitsap's swimming pool got good news Monday night: the pool can stay open. But, the pool building walls have a mold problem that could be costly to solve. Moisture within the building envelope (walls and ceilings) is creating a mold problem that will require renovation-not just improvements to the HVAC system---to resolve, according to Terry Heindl, assistant superintendent of financial services and operations. The extent and cost of needed renovations is not yet known. The important news here is that the pool is safe, and it's okay to keep the pool open while the work is going on, North Kitsap School Board President Dick Endresen said. When mold was discovered at the pool earlier this year, the original theory was that the warm, humid pool air was causing several types of mold to grow within the walls. Instead, environmental specialist Nancy Beaudet's study says that a failure of the building envelope is the problem. The pool, however, may not be safe for everyone to use. The school district will immediately post signs warning people who may react to mold. People who have asthma or allergic reactions to mold, people with suppressed immune systems due to disease, chemo or radiation therapy, and any people who have symptoms associated with mold exposure are asked to check with their health care provider before using the pool. As a precaution, staff members who were working in the pool director's office have also been moved to other office space due to a higher concentration of mold found in this room. Ironically, one of the classrooms that was used as a control in the testing also turned out to have a mold problem. The HFL classroom at Poulsbo Junior High scored high on two types of mold, indicating there are also moisture problems in that classroom. Staff and students who use that classroom will receive the same health warnings that are given to pool users. What's being done? The school district will shortly install a foam barrier in the four to eight-inch gap between the perimeter concrete curb and the interior pool wall to reduce the possibility that mold inside the wall could migrate. A detailed engineering study of the building envelope will be performed this year to determine the source of the moisture and what building renovations may be required. The district will also continue microbiological sampling in the late fall and winter to learn if there are any changes in the types and distribution of mold found. A written plan of action must be prepared by the school and district and submitted to the Bremerton Kitsap County Health District by June 1, 2001. "

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