Montreal

Ste-Bibiane school to close after reports of mould, fungus

A Rosemont elementary school will close its doors to make major repairs to the building, which could take up to four years.

Ste-Bibiane school vigilance committee and parents incensed they were not told earlier of closure

School board officials say it would be impossible to allow children to continue to attend classes at Ste-Bibiane while they repair the building. (CBC )

A Rosemont elementary school will close its doors to make major repairs to the building, which could take up to four years.

The head of the French-language Montreal School Board (CSDM) Catherine Harel Bourdon said the school board presented on Thursday night its proposal to move students from Ste-bibiane to the nearby Sans-Frontières school. 

However, Ste-Bibiane's vigilance committee and parents are angry because they feel they were the last to find out.

A statement issued by the committee — which is composed of parents, teachers, school administrators and after-school daycare staff — said the school has a mould problem. The statement refers to documents obtained through an Access to Information request in which a microbiologist reported most of the school was contaminated.

The statement also said the president of the CSDM told La Presse about the closure before informing parents and staff. 

Harel Bourdon said she was surprised to hear that because, according to her, the member of the committee who drafted the statement is the one who called La Presse first.

The committee accused the CSDM of a lack of transparency and a lax attitude toward those affected by the school closure.

Ste-Bibiane was ranked fourth most-dilapidated school in the CSDM by Radio-Canada in January.

Harel Bourdon said it is impossible to conduct the kinds of repairs needed while students are still in the school.

She said the foundation and masonry needs serious work.

The committee said there are at least six types of fungi living in the walls of the school. It said a number of school employees reported symptoms that could be linked to their exposure to mould.

In response, the school commissioner told CBC News that they have not yet found mould.

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