Flint, MI— Flint Community Schools Board of Education members spent most of a Sept. 8 meeting piecing together events leading up to Doyle-Ryder’s closure Aug. 30 after mold was discovered in six classrooms.

Board members wanted to know if the administration knew about the mold prior to Aug. 30 and asked representatives from Tremco, a roofing and sealant manufacturing company that has been working with the district, what their recommendations were.

Acting Superintendent Kevelin Jones said Aug. 30 was not the first time mold was found at the school.

In late July, Tremco discovered mold in one part of the building and contacted Superintendent Anita Steward (who is currently on leave) about the situation. Workers cleaned the moldy areas and placed dehumidifiers prior to students returning to school Aug. 4.

“On the other side of the Doyle-Ryder, the older Doyle, that’s where the first sighting of the mold was. And working with Tremco, they cleaned it and the mold was gone. Well, the mold came back,” Jones said, adding that parents, students, and staff were not allowed to enter the side of the building where mold was initially discovered.

Dustin Fremion, field advisor for Tremco, told board members that cleaning the mold was not their first recommendation to Steward. He said Tremco worked with their sister company, Pure Air, which specializes in mold remediation, to develop a $50,000 proposal to find the cause of the problem and create a long-term solution.

Fremion said Steward turned down the proposal, citing budget constraints and the cost.

“When we submitted the proposal from Pure Air, it was communicated that, ‘Well, that’s above $5,000, and anything above $5,000 needs board approval,” Fremion said. “It was a conversation with Ms. Steward.”

Steward did not respond to request for comment by press time.

The mold is due to moisture buildup in part because of the roof’s poor condition, Fremion said.

“Daylight is visibile in several areas, highlighting deficiencies, as well as how easily water is able to make its way into the building,” Fremion said.

The district has been aware of the roof’s condition for four years, but due to budget cuts and administration turnover, the problem was not addressed, Fremion said.

At the meeting, Fremion presented a new $440, 050 plan to restore the roof. It includes an assessment, new 40-year dimensional shingles, and a 20-year manufacturer warranty.

With the resignations of board members Diana Wright and Vera Perry and the absence of Trustee Adrian Walker who was on vacation, the board approved the plan 4-0.

“I think it hurt us severely not knowing we had a building full of mold. We could have prevented that,” Board President Carol McIntosh said.

Repairs are set to begin in one month. Tremco representatives did not specify when the project will be complete.

Carmen Nesbitt is a journalist with diverse experience in news reporting and feature writing. She wrote for Hour Detroit and SEEN Magazine before joining the Flint Beat news team as an education and public...