District aims to address trailer mold

By Joyce Blay
Staff Writer

District aims
to address
trailer mold
By Joyce Blay
Staff Writer

JACKSON — The Board of Education has awarded a contract worth $34,200 to E.F. Calcagni Inc. of Ewing, Mercer County, to install vapor barriers in six of its remaining 24 portable classroom trailers, according to Superintendent of Schools Thomas Gialanella.

"This summer work is part of a plan we created last year to be proactive about protecting our facilities," he said. "We’re doing everything we can to make a safe environment for our students and staff."

Other companies that submitted bids for the project were AE2 of Berlin, for $71,580; and Specialty Services Contrac-ting of Ridgefield, for $99,400. The winning bid from E.F. Calcagni Inc. was the lowest bid submitted.

The trailers will be fitted with a vapor barrier between the interior walls and the exterior siding, and the interior framing studs will be treated with a protective solution that retards mold growth, school officials said.

The district was forced to close 13 trailers in October due to mold.

Four rentals at the Goetz Middle School and two at the Switlik School were replaced; four trailers at Goetz were permanently removed; one trailer at Goetz was remediated and is now used for storage; one trailer at the Johnson School was remediated and reopened last year; and one trailer at the McAuliffe Middle School was remediated and reopened last year.

District administrators are working on a timeline for the refurbishment of the remaining trailers.

The work will be based on recommendations made by Dr. Andrew Port of The Whitman Companies Inc., which is under contract to the school district and to the municipality.

"The trailer modifications, which will include the installation of vapor barriers, are intended to resolve the issue of moisture intrusion," said Port. "Our firm will perform inspections on an ongoing basis for both the government and the Board of Education in Jackson in order to ensure building integrity."

Township officials consulted Port when mold was found in the building depart-ment’s trailer annex this past spring. At Port’s recommendation, a vapor barrier was installed underneath the affected trailer to inhibit the growth of mold, according to Robert Ryley, aide to the Mayor and the Township Committee.

However, said Ryley, since the school trailers are constructed differently, their modification requirements and cost will differ from those made to the building department trailer annex.