Wall trailer classrooms nixed; special meeting set for Aug. 27

A construction worker works on a classroom trailer at Central Elementary School in Wall Township on Tuesday, Aug. 20. PHOTO BY MARK R. SULLiVAN

WALL TOWNSHIP — The school board at its Aug. 20 meeting decided to halt efforts to repair old classroom trailers behind Central Elementary School that previously had been slated to house fifth-grade classes.

The board also has scheduled a special meeting to be held at Wall Intermediate School at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 27, to go over the trailer situation.

Air-quality tests in the trailers were conducted Aug. 19. A report submitted to the school district Aug. 22 by Partner Engineering and Science Inc. found elevated levels of a common mold, cladosporium, in trailer 1, and another common mold, chaetomium, in trailer 4. The molds may be associated with asthma and allergies in sensitive individuals, according to the Mold & Bacteria Laboratories. 

After parents protested last week, the board members agreed to stop the repair work immediately and secure the site in a safe manner, pending a determination on how to proceed. The fifth grade classes will be relocated to the main school building.

The “temporaries,” in use since 2007, have fallen into disrepair and the board plans to explore other options for relieving overcrowding at the school, such as acquiring newer, “more permanent” trailers, building an addition to the school or redistricting students.

The decision not to use the trailers follows a controversy that erupted when parents objected to the condition of the trailers.

A parent, Samantha Bassett, said she and several other parents visited the school and noticed that the trailers were in “extremely bad shape.”

The parents were shocked, she said, when they saw mold, holes in walls, an ant infestation, rotten floor joists and a cinder-block footing that was “leaning.”

School officials said damage such as to the floor joists was revealed last month when siding was removed during a project to replace siding on the trailers.

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