Report reveals mold at Largo charter school after weeks of denials

LARGO, Fla. (WFLA) — Test results released Friday night reveal there was mold at Plato Academy’s Largo campus. That comes as no surprise to parents and teachers.

The air inspection company, Pure Air Control Services Inc., released its findings at a meeting Friday. This is the second inspection done at the school in the last several weeks.

Pure Air said it did indeed find mold at the school. The company said there are moisture problems in the school’s air ducts and floors.

According to a summary report, Pure Air stated the quality of the indoor air was considered adequate and no imminent health concerns were detected.

Parents attend a meeting at Plato Academy Largo.
Parents attend a meeting at Plato Academy Largo.

RELATED: Mold concerns at Largo’s Plato Academy have parents scared

Some parents and teachers say they’ve known about the problem for years. Pictures of suspected mold in classrooms surfaced within the last few weeks.

Elyssa Coker is a mother of two who listened as Pure Air presented its findings. Coker says the bigwigs at the school aren’t hearing the same thing she is. “The big problem is that they keep saying there is no big problem,” Coker said.

She says she’s tired of the excuses. On Friday night Coker received the answers she was expecting. “Our kids go into a moldy classroom every day,” she said.

Parents said they’re still waiting for a mold inspection to be done at the school, which officials promised weeks ago.

“We’re extremely upset and we keep sending emails about our company. You promised us mold inspections, not air quality tests. Mold inspections from a company of our choice, shadowed by a parent or by someone outside of the Plato Academy representation, and we were denied access,” parent Barbara Gareau said.


RELATED: Plato Academy Largo to undergo additional mold tests

The school’s CEO and president, Steve Christopoulos, told News Channel 8 parents can still have an inspector of their choice conduct a mold test.

In the past, Christopoulos had said there was no mold. On Friday he backed down a bit.

“Now when you say there is no mold, it means there is no mold at significant level to be harmful,” Christopoulos said.

Parents have claimed Christopoulos was trying to conceal the mold. “How can I hide it and conceal it?” he said.

Christopoulos told News Channel 8 his kids went to the school.  He said he would send them to the school right now.

However, some parents, including Coker, pulled their children out of the school because of concerns about the health risk.

News Channel 8 asked anyone will get fired or suspended because of the findings and the way they came to light. School officials said no. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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