The Barnegat Township School District will pay a restoration company $270,440 to clean mold from as part of what will eventually be a months-long process to clean and refurbish the school.
District Superintendent Karen Wood said the contract for the mold remediation went to the Toms River-based Servpro, which has already begun working in the school.
An exact timeline for the cleanup project isn’t yet available, said Wood, because “we still don’t know what is salvageable and what has to be thrown away.”
But she said that the school, which normally serves more than 300 kindergarten through fifth-grade students, will not be reopened before Christmas.
In the meantime, students will continue to attend their classes at the district's three other elementary schools.
As the crew of contractors finishes cleaning the school section by section, Wood said district maintenance staff will move in to paint the walls, replace items like shelves and whiteboards and replace carpet with tile.
“It will be like a new school when we are done,” she said.
Wood reiterated that the mold remediation, along with $21,000 worth of repairs to the roof of the Collins School, will be covered by existing maintenance reserve account funds.
The reserve account contains money from previous budgets set aside for emergencies, said Wood, “similar to a personal savings account.” That means the district won’t have to ask taxpayers to shell out any extra money to pay for the cleanup, she said.
"Luckily, the Barnegat Board of Ed and Dean Allison, our business administrator, planned well and we have funds in reserve," Wood said.