01/11/2012 11:00 EST | Updated 03/12/2012 05:12 EDT

Mould forces Montreal school closure

An elementary school in Montreal's Villeray neighbourhood may be closed for up to two years because of mould contamination.

Parents and students at Saint-Gérard School learned the news Tuesday night.

Montreal's public health department recommended the school be closed for cleaning and renovation.

The department made the move after conducting tests in December. It found that most of the rooms in the school were contaminated with mould.

Diane de Courcy, the chair of the Commission Scolaire de Montréal, said other schools in the board's jurisdiction have had problems with mould in the past.

De Courcy said the board plans to conduct tests on their 200 schools, but not all at once due to the costs involved.

The 422 students at Saint-Gérard School will go to Collège Ahuntsic for a few weeks while the board finds them a home for the next 18 to 24 months.