SOUTH HAVEN — South Haven Elementary School students will return to their home classrooms Monday.

Portage Township Schools announced Friday that the building, which has been shut down for three weeks, has been cleared of any mold issues. School officials held two meetings with parents on Friday to explain the issue and the steps moving forward to guarantee it won't happen again.

Students and staff were evacuated from the building on Aug. 27 after issues were raised about mold contamination. Students continued to study in makeshift classrooms at Portage High School.

The district hired Servpro and Midwest Environmental Services to test and clean the building.

They have also this week contracted with Amereco Engineering, Inc. to conduct regular testing and preventative maintenance on all of the district’s buildings, said Melissa Deavers-Lowie, district director of communications.

Amereco Engineering is a full-service environmental engineering consulting and project management group based in Valparaiso. 

Deavers-Lowie said Amereco Engineering initially focused on South Haven Elementary to ensure the building is certified safe for the students and staff to re-enter. Once South Haven Elementary has been certified safe, PTS will work with the company to determine a schedule for routine testing and maintenance throughout the district.

Hiring the company is part of a five-step plan, she said, which will include revising indoor air quality policies for each building; develop policies for specialized areas such as swimming pools, HVAC system and ventilation; organize staff training for staff; conduct regular testing at each building and receive reports on air quality from Amereco.


Porter County Reporter

Joyce has been a reporter for nearly 40 years, including 23 years with The Times. She's a native of Merrillville, but has lived in Portage for 39 years. She covers municipal and school government in Porter County.