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Leaky Roof At Ramapo High School Raises Mold Concerns

SPRING VALLEY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A leaky roof at one school in Rockland County has students, parents and staff concerned about mold.

Two classrooms have been closed off and garbage cans are catching water from a leaky roof at Ramapo High School, WCBS 880's Peter Haskell reported.

State Sen. David Carlucci calls the conditions "deplorable."

"It feels damp, an odor is developing," Carlucci said. "We can have a situation where mold develops and it can become a real health risk for our students and our teachers."

Carlucci toured the school Monday after receiving multiple emails and calls from concerned parents.

He posted pictures of the damage on Twitter and said he will be in Albany this week fighting to secure emergency funding for repairs.

Teachers and students told CBS2's Meg Baker that they are concerned about possible mold.

"I am concerned over the general health of student population," substitute teacher Pat Homak told CBS2.

Student Chris Bonann said it smelled like "bad garbage."

"You can smell it throughout entire hallway, and some classes," he told CBS2.

A district representative told CBS2 that two rooms have been isolated, but students and staff say a hallway with the same issues is still open for people to walk through.

This isn't the first time this has been an issue as the state's Department of Labor cited the school in 2013 for mold and vermin.

Some parents claim Orthodox Jews, who are on the East Ramapo School Board and send their kids to private school, are starving the district of money, Haskell reported.

But Dennis Walcott, who was appointed as a monitor for the school district because of internal fighting, said residents voted down a bond proposal last year that could have covered the $1 million it would cost to fix the roof.

"This is a case unfortunately of a bond issue that was defeated," Walcott said. "The bond issue was to appropriate $40 million to address a lot of the capital work of the district."

Walcott told CBS2 the recent blizzard took a toll on work that was already done.

"I know the district has done some patch work, but unfortunately with heavy snow that patch work has not held up. That's what causing leaks," he said.

Air samples were taken at the school Monday, Walcott said. Results are pending.

The English wing remains open for classes, despite the leak and smell.

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