GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — Three schools in Guilford County have current health inspection scores in the 70s.
Guilford County Environmental Health Manager Paula Cox said that there are three inspectors who work solely with school scoring based on state general statutes.
“In school buildings, really look at how chemicals are stored and the structure of the building and maintenance of the building and takes all of that into account for the inspections,” Cox said. “We don’t have the authority to close schools if they get s bad grade or a grade that is lower than most public would like to see. So we just report on what we see and typically the school system takes into account what we are looking at makes it a priority to try and fix the issues.”
Cox said the scores are public record but the results are given to the principal of each school. If a school scores below a 70, the superintendent is notified.
However, there is no follow up to see if the repairs have been made.
“We go every year,” Cox said. “The only time we would go back into a school system is if a principal requests it, for us to come back and do a regrade.”
Page High School scored a 77 during the inspection in February.
Inspectors cited damage in the girls and boys locker rooms, wet and damaged ceilings in the gyms and orchestra room as well as leaks in room 500 and a hallway leading to room 717.
Mendenhall Middle School scored a 79 during the inspection in February.
Inspectors cited improper storage or chemicals and severe urine smells from seventh-grade hallway.
Repairs to boys and girls locker rooms were noted as well as the need for cleaning of water fountains and ceiling leaks/damage in chorus and auxiliary gym.
Swann Middle School scored a 75 in May.
Inspectors noted that there was not working air conditioning during the inspections.
Low water pressure for fountains was cited as well as leaks in the dining hall, gym and holes in the ceiling.
Seventh-grader Tiyanai Parrish shared with us Tuesday about what she’s seen inside Swann Middle school.
“I mean the school is old but the sinks are dirty the water is dirty,” Parrish said. “Upstairs the ceiling is like open and there’s so many stink bugs everywhere. It’s just not a good learning environment.”
When asked about the violations and who monitors the repairs, GCS representatives emailed the following response:
“These schools were inspected in the 2017-18 school year, and any issues that were noted were addressed immediately. Our district maintenance staff advises school custodians as needed. Maintenance funds are included in the $6 million capital outlay budget provided by the board of county commissioners. This covers larger projects such as roof repairs or HVAC replacements, as well as regular maintenance and upkeep. We take pride in our schools and we know that our staff and students do the same. Our buildings are very active places, and we are aware of issues that can occur especially in our older buildings. Unfortunately, we don’t always have the resources we need to address every issue promptly, but we are working to make improvements wherever we can, as quickly as we can.”