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St. James Elementary cleaning does little to quell concerns

St. James Elementary School/WPDE

Crews worked throughout the weekend to rid St. James Elementary School of mold after more than 20 rooms tested positive for heightened levels of spores last month.

Some parents said that their kids didn't get sick until the day after the crews finished.

"She was fine when we sent her to school," Lauren Wisecarver said, of her daughter. "When she came home she was congested and sneezing, she said that her throat had been burning."

Other parents described similar experiences, and wondered what chemicals were used to clean the building and if the cleaning had been thorough enough.

June Johnson, a volunteer at the school who has been leading the movement to have the building treated, blamed air fresheners the workers had put into the heating and cooling ducts.

She pointed out one, which had a strong odor despite being wrapped in two plastic bags.

"I myself have had a sore throat since Monday because the odor has been so overpowering," Johnson said.

Parents said aside from the cleaning, they wanted better communication from the district.

"I want to see them. I want to hear what they're doing," Stefeny Wackerly said. "I want to understand the who, what, where, when, why."

District Spokeswoman Lisa Bourcier said the air fresheners were not requested by the district and were removed.

She said a new mold test was in the process of being scheduled.

A maintenance truck was seen heading to the school shortly before the sun went down Wednesday afternoon.

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