After almost three months of mold cleanup at Manchester Township Middle School, students can expect to be back in the building around late November.

Manchester Middle School
Manchester Middle School (Dan Alexander, Townsquare Media NJ)

Manchester Superintendent David Trethaway says the bottom floor of the building has been pretty much all gutted, with the carpeting, ceiling tiles, and cabinetry having been removed.

"We've tested both the upstairs and the downstairs. The upstairs is 100% clean, the downstairs is about 90%."

Trethaway notes the original estimate was accurate, and the only way they could be 100% sure they remediated everything was to get rid of anything that could harbor the mold. Taxpayers of Manchester managed to avoid burdening the cost for the repair since thee school district had an environmental clause in its insurance contract.

"It covered us up to a million dollars and that clause has been kicking in and we'll probably be coming in right around that number."

Trethaway is happy to say the restoration has gone without any major pitfalls.

"Luckily the insurance company, and the restoration company, and the environmental company, all agreed on the process we needed to do. It's expensive but we know that when we get back it's going to be all remediated and all removed."

One of the main areas that remain for the school to remediate is the gym area, which presents a slight challenge since Manchester Middle School is one of the few schools with a carpeted gymnasium.

"The entire carpeting of the gym floor was taken out and we're going to be replacing that with a wood floor."

The cause of the mold, which caused several hundred students to have to share facilities with Manchester High School since the school year started, is being blamed on an equipment failure.

"We had lost power during the summer so our air conditioning chiller went down, at the same time our other units were bringing in outside air and as you know this summer was a particularly hot one and humid one. "

He notes the district has an HVAC specialist and an environmental group who will coordinate with them to make sure a similar situations doesn't happen again.

The superintendent is grateful for the support he has gotten from parents throughout the community.

"We've made a couple of changes to our transportation to accommodate people, we've bussing people back and forth with sports. We've had other schools that have been cooperating with us on moving starting times for our athletes. "

An open house will be scheduled to transitions students back into building.

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