It shows up in the Ray & Associates summary that helped form the Kentucky School board's opinion of, then, candidate Erwin. Ray's analysis says:
- "When Dr. Erwin arrived in St. Charles three years ago test scores were not meeting expectations, science, math and reading curriculum issues were pending and mold in high school facilities was an old issue not being treated seriously."
- "Test scores have risen steadlily since her arrival, curricular issues have been solved and the mold issue is no longer a problem."
"Barbara had nothing to do with the mold problem or its remediation!"
"St. Charles High School, which became St. Charles East High School, was featured in an article in Good Housekeeping back then. [see cover above] Finally in March 2001, [Kane County Regional Superintendent] Clem Mejia threatened to close the building.
It was a huge community crisis. Where do you house 2200 students? For the remainder of that year, they went to the new St. Charles North High School on split shift. East students were not welcomed there. It was a summer of controversy that cost $30 million to fix. But the nearly ten-year issue was resolved before Barb came to our District."
So, I did some checking...and sure enough,
the issue was resolved
well before Erwin's arrival.
The Kane County Chronicle reported that the mold problems were finally resolved during the first week of September, 2003. (SOURCE: Newsbank. "Gamut of emotions in Tri-Cities in '03" Daily Herald, December 28, 2003)
"Aug. 27 : "On the first day of classes in the St. Charles school district, officials closed six rooms at East High School after mold was found growing on drywall on two walls in the Dunham wing.One room would later fail an air quality test.The district had previously closed East High for 18 months and spent $28 million cleaning mold growth behind the building's walls.The cleanup work would be done, and the rooms reopened, in less than a week."
On December 14, 2003, another Daily Herald story, "New East principal [Bob Miller] finding his way" declared that all mold problems were in the past.
Three days after Erwin began in St Charles the Daily Herald wrote (July 4, 2004), "Legacy defined by mold crisis"
"Current school board President Mary Jo Knipp called the mold issue "the toughest time the district has ever faced.""He took all the hits," Knipp said of [outgoing superintendent Francis] Kostel. "He got beat up over the years, but he was always there to defend the kids and education. It was very evident it was his No. 1 concern."
Erwin did not join the district until July 1, 2004.