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Cleanup At Westport’s Greens Farms School Uncovers Mold, Lead

Repair work continues at Westport's Greens Farms School after a sprinkler pipe burst last week.
Repair work continues at Westport's Greens Farms School after a sprinkler pipe burst last week. Photo Credit: Vanessa Inzitari

WESTPORT, Conn. — Traces of mold and lead were found at Westport’s Greens Farms School during cleanup of the damage caused by a frozen sprinkler pipe that ruptured last week.

Elio Longo, director of school business operations, said lead was found in a hallway area and the mold was found in a catwalk space in the area of the art room, which sustained the most water damage. These areas, he said, are completely off limits to students and staff while repairs are made.

“We not only limited access [to repair-staff only], but also contained the area from any further exposure to lead contaminants,” Longo said. “We also had a private company in there that tested pre-demolition and post-demolition, and we have full clearance.”

The entire school was also tested for asbestos, and none was found, he said.

The sprinkler pipe that broke early last Monday morning caused extensive damage to the art room and to the first and second floor hallways in that area. The school was closed that Monday and Tuesday to allow repairs to begin.

Since then, Longo said a “considerable amount of demolition work” has been done. Ceiling tiles, walls, insulation and flooring are some of the things that needed to be removed. Foundation repairs also need to be made, he said.

Remediation of the mold and lead will be covered by insurance as part of the claim filed for the water damage, Longo said. The only cost to the district will be a $25,000 deductible.

“However, we have subrogated the claim,” Longo said. “I believe there is a third party at fault in this water pipe damage, so the $25,000 will be a cost to the Board of Education until we settle the claim.”

Repairs may be completed by next week, he said.

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