Lights, Camera, Mold?


Braden Dennis
In the light room, curtains were found with mold and it needed to be cleaned.

When mold was discovered in Nixa High School
classrooms and the  auditorium, administration didn’t wait for it to turn into Penicillin. Ahead of the theatrical production of “The Pirates of Penzance,” administration made sure the mold was gone in time for the show to go on.
“We discovered the mold in September,” Principal Dr. David Kelly said. “After we found it, we decided to do more testing, and we found more.”
The mold was brought into the school through air currents in the air conditioning unit.
“We had an inspector come to check out the cause of the mold,” Kelly said. “We did an air quality test and saw the amounts of humidity were the root cause.”
A portion of the mold was found on the third floor. However, the majority of the mold was found in the auditorium and theater rooms.
“We found it in my room, and it was closed down for two weeks,” theater teacher Allison Fleetwood said. “It was found in the auditorium and light room as well.”
The mold was not harmful to the students.
“The mold was not dangerous at all,” Kelly said. “The mold levels outside of Mrs. Fleetwood’s classroom were lower than the mold count outside.”
The mold was found on a few theater props and items, and a clean up was underway to ensure the mold was
“In the light booth we found mold on the furniture and it was visible that it needed to go for the safety of the students,” Fleetwood said.
Some items were cleaned, and others were discarded.
“We had some curtains that some were being cleaned and others needed to be thrown,” Fleetwood said.
Fleetwood said her students were flexible during the changes.
“My cast of ‘The Pirates of Penzance’ has had a professional
attitude about the mold and relocating practice … We relocated ‘The Pirates of Penzance’ practices to the gym and library while the mold was being cleaned,” Fleetwood said.
The show went on, despite the changes.
“Although it definitely slowed us down, it didn’t affect us too much,” the lead role of the play Kaleb Creason said. “We just had to work and be
flexible. We had to make do with what we had … We were already nervous, and we knew it would be hard to stay focused,” Creason said. “But deep down we knew we had to. Everyone was in the right mindset, and things went really well. It was a lot smoother than we thought it would go.”
ServiceMaster cleaned up the mold. Although the clean up process was
successful, it was not cost efficient.
“It was definitely not cheap,” Kelly said. “No future high school
improvements have been halted due to the price of the clean up.”
With the mold cleanup finishing on a positive note, learning could go back to normal for the students affected by the mold.
“Administration was really helpful for the whole process,” Creason said. “It wasn’t a total negative because of that.”
Fleetwood said she appreciated the administrative support.
“The administration has been great,” Fleetwood said. “They have done
whatever they can to help us affected by the mold.”
The mold, now gone, has allowed for students to return back to normal learning and performing.
“Everybody worked super hard to get through it,” Creason said. “I am so glad I have a supportive cast to work with.”