From severe water damage to mold issues to traces of asbestos located in the school's music room, Hinsdale Middle School has had a very rough start to the New Year.
The school is expected to reopen Tuesday after being closed for several weeks. Students have been attending a split-schedule at Clarendon Hills Middle School since Jan. 23.
One Hinsdale Middle School parent responded to an inquiry on the Patch Facebook page in recent days regarding how the school closure had affected his family.
"My daughter has been uncharacteristically frustrated by the schedule. It has cut into not just instructional time in the classroom but eliminated the advisory period and lunch which are vital to the collegial aspects of school," John Czerwiec said on the Hinsdale-Clarendon Hills Patch Facebook page.
Tell Us in Comments Section: How has the closure at Hinsdale Middle School affected your family?
Timeline of HMS Closure; Mold, Asbestos Issues
- A pipe leak on Saturday, Jan. 4 was discovered in the school's music room. That night, the fire department responded to an alarm triggered by water flow in the sprinkler system, due to the extreme weather, and found damage on all three floors of the school.
- School was closed on Jan. 6 and 7 due to extreme cold.
- Then, on Jan. 8, shortly before students and staff returned to school, a domestic water pipe broke in room 216, causing additional water damage to the music room below. As cleaning got underway, air quality tests showed the air quality to be within acceptable guidelines.
- On Jan. 16, "A representative from Integrity Environmental Services took surface samples of possible mold growth observed by SERVPRO staff, who were on site to perform deep cleaning and removal of wet drywall," according to the Hinsdale Middle School website.
- The district announced it would close school on Friday, Jan. 17 as the district awaited results of the mold test.
- On Jan. 18, the results "showed low concentrations of mold spores on the drywall and surface samples tested," according to the HMS website.
- School was also not in session Jan. 20 through Jan. 22.
- On Jan. 21, a report of of possible asbestos was made to administration on January 21. upon consultation with the Illinois Department of Public Health, Integrity Environmental Services conducted aggressive air sampling in Room 124, Room 126 and adjacent areas to determine if there were any asbestos fibers in the air. Testing has confirmed zero (0) traces of asbestos fibers were found in the 13 TEM (Transmission Electron Microscopy) air samples.
- As the school worked to remedy the problem, students began a split schedule with Clarendon Hills Middle School began on Jan. 23.
The above information was updated on Feb. 3.
Community Consolidated School District 181 Superintendent Renée Schuster shared the following letter Sunday with Hinsdale Middle School parents:
Dear District 181 Community,
This is an update on the progress at Hinsdale Middle School. The Open House is confirmed for Monday 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Any interested community members are invited to attend and take a brief guided tour. Classes on Tuesday at HMS will begin at the usual time, 7:55 a.m., and dismiss at the usual time, 2:45 p.m.
Today, many HMS staff members were in the building organizing their classrooms. Our Buildings and Grounds crew was on hand to assist as their materials were moved back into place. We began moving office equipment today; instructional materials and other equipment will be brought to HMS after school Monday.
We had an initial fire inspection yesterday and follow up fire inspection today. An inspection by the architects and Regional Office of Education is scheduled for Monday afternoon. Our phone consultant will be on hand tomorrow to verify that telephones are properly reconnected. Integrity Environmental Services is continuing to analyze the samples collected on Friday and Saturday; we expect to have their complete report late this evening or tomorrow morning.
We anticipate sending the last daily update to the community on Tuesday after classes have resumed at HMS. We will continue to maintain the HMS Facility Updates webpage as a record of recent events and to share information related to next steps in considering the building’s long-term future.
We look forward to greeting you at the Open House on Monday (6:30 – 8:00 p.m.)!
Dr. Renée Schuster