WESTPORT — Nearly three weeks after Coleytown Middle School students were relocated to other Westport schools due to ongoing mold issues, Superintendent Colleen Palmer said parents may have to wait until Thanksgiving for an answer on whether students will return to Coleytown this year.
“While this determination might be made as early as several weeks from now, depending on various results of the forensic industrial hygienist, the outside timeline is anticipated to be no later than Thanksgiving,” Palmer wrote in a document sent home to district parents Oct. 8.
The final engineering consultant’s assessment of Coleytown is due in three weeks, at which time, the district will have more information about whether a short-term remediation is possible that would allow students to return to Coleytown this year, or if students will need to remain in their relocated schools for the remainder of the school year, Palmer wrote.
“If there are no acceptable pathways to provide short-term remediation at the preliminary or final report of the engineers, the decision to stay out for the year will be made,” Palmer said, adding the district will consult medical advisors and engineers in deciding whether to reopen the school this year.
While a decision is pending, Palmer said the district is looking into adding portable classrooms to Bedford Middle School and Staples High School, where Coleytown students have been relocated. However, she warned it may take until December to acquire the portables due to safety-check approvals and infrastructure modifications needed to make way for the temporary classrooms.
Although parents have written complaining that Bedford’s hallways “are like Times Square at Christmas” due to the addition of Coleytown’s sixth and seventh graders to the school, the Fire Marshall and Police Chief have deemed the school safe, Palmer wrote.
The cost of mold remediation efforts at Coleytown has approached $800,000 for all related expenses this year, Palmer wrote.
firstname.lastname@example.org; 203-842-2638; @SophieCVaughan1