School Set to Close due to Lead Paint Chips in Building

By KBJR News 1

March 4, 2013 Updated Mar 5, 2013 at 2:00 PM CST

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.COM)

University Nursery School is scheduled to close indefinitely on July 15th due to lead paint chips having been discovered in the building.

Last July property management found a paint chip on the floor in the nursery.

After further inspection it was determined to contain lead based paint.
The school was temporarily closed down for approximately 2 weeks.

"The school did some testing in July with the ceilings and the paint and seeing that there was lead in the paint and sent us all to other schools.

During that time areas of lead paint were encapsulated. Despite the lead paint controversy many parents are advocating that the school stay open.

"It's the only school basically downtown that has the outside play area plus it also has the security for my kids," says Michelle Lavine mother of twins that attend the schoool.

Catherine Lengal with General Services Administration Chicago, the building management company, says the school does not meet safety and health standards due to the lead paint, despite encapsulation. Parents say they are confused by the decision.

"They sent us an environmental report which they, the GSA were involved in and they said it was fine no worries at all for your kids, it was mostly on the top floor that had the problem and they fixed it," says Mollie Sebok, parent of a three year old attending the school.

University Nursery School was declared "below the most restrictive standards," August 2012. However, It is still currently scheduled to close.

"We're working to try to keep it open," adds Lavine.

The school was supposed to be shut down at the end of December, but with the help of Senator Franken they were allowed to stay open until June 15 so the families could have time to make new childcare arrangements.