Alamance-Burlington School System scrambles to clean up water, mold damage before school starts

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ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. -- Five schools in the Alamance-Burlington School System are scrambling to clean up water and mold damage before the first day of school.

The district is also working on the bigger problem causing it all -- bad roofing material.

District leaders say Broadview Middle School has the most damage and needs an entirely new roof. Inside the middle school, you can see the damage the water has caused. District officials confirmed the school had asbestos removed this summer, but they said it's completely gone.

Parts of Cummings High School will also need a new roof. Holt Elementary School, Sellars-Gun Education Center, and Graham Middle School need serious patchwork.

The district hopes to clean up the messes inside the schools by the first day back, on August 28. But the bigger repairs will take at least four months.

"If it rains hard one of the days they are in school, there will be roofs that will leak, unfortunately," said Dr. Bill Harrison, the superintendent of schools. "What I can assure parents is their children will be safe."

Some parents aren't so sure.

"It really does worry me, because of the possibility of the mold," said Hubert Brown, whose daughter goes to Cummings High School.

Several classrooms where the damage is the worst will be closed off when teachers and students return.

"Heaven forbid that the roof would fall in," Brown said.

Dr. Harrison says the problems with roofing started this spring, when a company provided bad roofing material.

"Someone should be held accountable," Brown said.

"They need to replace the roofs and do some major repairs on them," said Dr. Harrison

Dr. Harrison said a third-party consultant looked at the damage and claims the company is at fault.

"They determined for us that it was not faulty work, but faulty material," he said.

But months later, the district and roofing company are still in a deadlock over what to do about it. The district is threatening legal action if the company doesn't step in, repair or replace the five roofs, and foot the more than $1 million bill.

"We're asking now that they do something for us. They're reluctant to do some temporary work," Dr. Harrison said.

Some parents, like Brown, are shocked it's taken this long to fix.

"I think they should try to do it as expeditiously as possible," he said.

The superintendent says he hopes the two sides can agree without a lawsuit.

"That's costly and time consuming. I'm confident we'll settle this," Dr. Harrison said.

FOX8 called the company who provided the roofing material for a statement, but we did not hear back.

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