Officials weigh options as mold keeps Westport school closed

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WESTPORT -

A newly formed task force on Wednesday toured Coleytown Middle School, which has been closed since the fall due to mold.

The task force was appointed at Monday's Board of Education meeting. It consists of five people from Westport's Maintenance Study Committee and two members of the town. They will be looking into if the school can partially or fully reopen this coming fall.

News 12 reported last year that Coleytown closed just a few weeks into the school year. Displaced students are currently being housed at Bedford Middle School and Staples High School.

The Board of Education recently voted to make the district K-6 for the next school year, meaning this year's fifth-graders will just stay in elementary school buildings as middle schoolers.

Incoming seventh- and eighth-graders will be attending Bedford Middle School.

As for Coleytown, the Westport Public Schools chief financial officer says there are two potential options: Restoring the school, which could cost up to $35 million and take about two years – or rebuilding it altogether, which could cost up to $70 million and take four years.

For now, the task force will see if getting the school safe for next school year is possible. They are expected to report their findings to the Board of Education at the end of the month.

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