ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — As Alamance-Burlington School System wrapped up work eliminating a mold issue at one elementary school, new mold issues were discovered at two more schools.
Andrews & Newlin elementary schools
ABSS has been battling the clock to remedy a mold problem at Andrews Elementary School and Newlin Elementary School before the start of the 2023-2024 school year. The district has spent more than $1.2 million fighting the mold issue and repairing HVAC systems at both schools.
On Monday, ABSS said that mold remediation and HVAC repairs at Andrews Elementary School are complete, but there is still work to be done at Newlin.
ABSS said it has finished final testing and work on the HVAC system at Andrews Elementary School, and all third-party air quality tests have been completed and certified. Teachers will return to Andrews this week, and students will be back on campus for the first day of school on Aug. 28.
Newlin Elementary School students and staff will be relocated to Ray Street Academy while crews continue working on the problem. In turn, Ray Street Academy students and staff will be relocated to Graham Middle School.
“This will require a coordinated effort and patience as we tackle both the immediate issues and root causes,” ABSS Superintendent Dain Butler said.
Over the weekend, ABSS said it discovered “similar” mold issues at Cummings High School and Broadview Middle School.
“It has come to our attention that there are recurring mold problems in parts of these school facilities,” Butler said. “Upon closer inspection, it appears that some of these issues have been neglected over the years and allowed to worsen. With the recent construction work and fluctuations in weather, the mold growth has accelerated.”
“We want to assure families that the District is taking this seriously and plans to address the problem comprehensively.”’
Mold was discovered late Monday afternoon at Williams High School, which is now the fifth ABSS school to be impacted. School officials said 1,200 students and 100 staff members will be affected.
The mold was found on the first floor in four rooms and a closet underneath outside stairwells, indicating a drainage issue.
Williams High School is closed to students and staff.
Administrators and staff will temporarily move to Turrentine Middle while further testing is conducted on Tuesday.
“We want to assure families that the District is taking this seriously and plans to address the problem comprehensively,” Superintendent Dr. Dain Butler said.
The district intends to “identify the underlying causes [of the mold], including leaks, moisture buildup, and poor ventilation” and will “thoroughly” clean all areas before welcoming students and staff back into the buildings.
ABSS expects to receive the results of recent mold testing on Tuesday which will allow the district to determine the next steps.
The ABSS Board of Education plans to consider hiring an outside firm for indoor air quality testing and to evaluate roofing systems at all facilities during their Aug. 28 board meeting.