ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — The Alamance-Burlington School System’s battle with mold isn’t over yet.
On Wednesday, ABSS said mold was detected in parts of the ABSS Central Services building, including the Curriculum Department, Federal Programs Office, Public Information Office, Finance and superintendent’s office.
Staff will be temporarily relocated to other parts of the building or to schools that have recently been deep-cleaned. The curriculum department, principal supervisors and finance will be moved to Graham Middle School.
The district does not expect this to impact any enrollment, services or communications.
The discovery of mold in dozens of schools forced ABSS to push the start date back as crews launched a weeks-long campaign to thoroughly clean schools across the district. Students finally returned to classrooms on Monday, albeit on a three-hour delay.
The district has now been given the all-clear, with the impacted schools being given a Post-Remediation Verification clearance certificate on Sunday night.
“Our buildings are clean. they are sanitized, and our teachers are excited. We’re ready to get back to normal. And we can’t have that normal without our students. They are the priority,” Traci Horton, principal of Grove Park Elementary School said.
Buildings were cleaned with an antimicrobial cleaning solution based on industrial hygienist protocol, and the air was filtered with high-efficiency particulate filters.
More than 2,000 workers worked to clean mold in nearly 30 Alamance-Burlington schools and worked two 12-hour shifts to get the remediation done in time for school to start Monday.
The district is thinking ahead to determine how best to prevent this from happening again.
“We will then go back as a district and look at things like bringing in roofing inspectors, bringing in contractors, bringing in specialists to actually explore all of our buildings to make sure that this sort of thing does not happen again,” ABSS Public Information Officer Les Atkins said.
How it started
The issue first surfaced when a summer cleaning crew discovered a mold infestation at Andrews Elementary School in July.
By the end of August, the district had discovered mold in “nearly 30 schools.” Out of those, toxigenic mold was identified in 16 schools. The type of toxigenic mold found is called “Chaetomium” which inspectors say is from “invasive water damage over time.” Clearing this kind of mold involves cleaning and removing sheetrock, furniture and building materials that are impacted.
For more information, visit the Alamance-Burlington School System’s mold remediation dashboard.