DUBLIN -- Dublin High School officials have shut down a gymnasium after a construction crew found signs of mold.
The school district hired an environmental consultant to conduct tests after signs indicating the potential for mold damage were found in the roof, according to a mass email sent by the school principal.
"We are grateful the facilities department took immediate action to notify us and close off access to this building while a comprehensive plan is being developed," Principal Carol Shimizu wrote in an email sent to faculty and parents.
Carpenters were working on the gym earlier this week, preparing for renovations to be done this summer, when they found water leakage and damage coming from the roof of the school's older gym, said Superintendent Stephen Hanke.
School officials immediately moved to close the gym, Hanke said.
"The safety of our students and our teachers and those who use our facilities is very important to us. ... We don't know what the results of the tests will be, but we wanted to take steps as soon as we learned there was a potential issue, to test the area, and to develop a remediation plan if that is necessary."
The gym that was closed is not the only one on campus, which has a new sports complex that was recently opened.
The environmental consultant that Dublin High officials have hired is to inspect the gym Thursday, and will test both the gym and the locker rooms. If it turns out there isn't mold present, the gym could open within a day or two, said Hanke. Otherwise, it will remain shut until school officials are sure there is no more mold present. "Our intent is to communicate very clearly on an ongoing basis about the testing with our parents, teachers, and those who use the gym," Hanke said.
For now, until testing has been completed, Dublin High students are using their PE periods as an extra study period. But if mold is discovered, and the gym needs to be closed for an extended period, Hanke said he is confident modifications could be made to the PE program so students could still take part in physical activities despite not having locker rooms for changing.
Both the gym and the locker rooms were scheduled to be renovated during the summer, so the gym was going to be closed down starting at the end of this school year, said Hanke. Dublin High School has about 1,950 students.