03/13/2012 04:13 EDT | Updated 05/13/2012 05:12 EDT

Safety of students priority after mould discovered in school, says government

CHARLOTTETOWN - Newfoundland and Labrador's education minister is trying to quell concerns after mould was found in a small community's only school.

Clyde Jackman says the safety of students at William Gillett Academy in Charlottetown, along Labrador's southeast coast, is a priority for the government.

Jackman says preliminary results of testing carried out last week by an independent consultant found elevated levels of mould in some areas of the kindergarten to Grade 12 school.

More testing was ordered and officials are waiting for an interim report on the results.

Jackman says the results will be provided to the school community.

He says the report and an assessment of the building will help the Western School District and the provincial government determine the next steps.

"The safety of our students will not be compromised in any way," he said in a statement.

"That comes first and foremost. This is about identifying exactly what the problem is, and then putting a solution in place."

The Education Department says the school board has already identified replacing the academy as a priority.

The government approved a $500,000-project earlier this year to replace the roof, siding and windows at the school.