The mold wins: Cedarbrook Middle School to close
By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
Cheltenham School District officials announced a plan Monday to close Cedarbrook Middle School as early as Jan. 27, splitting its 750 students among four other campuses in the township.
The school board will vote Tuesday night on a contract with Gratz College to house half of Cedarbrook’s students.
The school is split into six teams, each with about 125 students. Two eighth-grade teams and one seventh-grade team will go to Gratz. One seventh-grade team will go to Elkins Park Elementary, and another to Cheltenham Elementary. The third eighth-grade team will go to Cheltenham High School.
At all four sites, the district plans to keep the middle schoolers confined to their own areas, away from older or younger students.
The district hopes by the 2015-16 school year to bring all Cedarbrook students back together in modular or temporary units on a single site.
It will likely take about four years to design and build a new permanent middle school, Thomas said.
Cedarbrook has been dealing with mold problems for a decade, and they spun out of control this summer. The school opened two weeks late in September as crews swept the building, and since then 12 classrooms and the cafeteria have had mold recurrences and are now closed.
At a meeting with parents Monday night, Superintendent Natalie Thomas said there was no more time to delay.
“There’s no amount of money that will prevent this from happening again in the spring or sooner,” Thomas said, noting that the leaky roof is already loaded with snow. Read More