Palmer Park Prep Academy students relocated due to concerns about leaky roof causing mold

Condition of Palmer Park Academy's building deemed unacceptable

DETROIT – Parents of students who attend Palmer Park Preparatory Academy were updated by the superintendent of the Detroit Public Schools Community District after the condition of the school building was deemed "unacceptable" for the remainder of the school year.

Officials don't know if there is a mold problem in the school building, but mold has been seen in a classroom, and the roof continues to leak.

It was announced Wednesday evening that all 558 students will finish the school year at Detroit International Academy. The move is a major challenge logistically, and parents attended a meeting Wednesday to vent and ask questions.

The students, teachers and staff members will move to the Detroit International Academy, which is currently an all-girls school, starting Monday.

Palmer Park Academy won't cease to exist, but it will be transplanted until the end of the school year.

Tempers flared at times during the meeting inside Palmer Park Academy's overflowing auditorium. But most parents just wanted answers.

The building's roof has been leaking for years, and when faculty members saw mold forming in a classroom, they threatened to walk out.

Superintendent Nikolai P. Vitti met with faculty members Tuesday and decided to move the whole school to a different building while they do an environmental study of what's going on.

Palmer Park Academy was already on a top-10 list for repairs. The roof was slated to be replaced in the spring.

District officials said there is a logistics plan in place to move students to their new school, which was the main concern for parents at the meeting.

"They jumped right on it," parent Charlene Moss said. "They got to the problem and they got our children out of this school to make sure our children are safe."

But others are concerned about the possibility of mold and related illnesses.

Vitti said Palmer Park Academy will have a new roof and students will return by the fall.

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