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Mold remains an issue at elementary school

It’s a new school year, but the same old problems cropped up even before the first day for students began at Prince Edward Elementary School.

“I have a pre-K teacher who is very dear to my heart. She was about in tears last Monday when she came to her classroom,” School Board Member Dr. Lawrence Varner said, asking if the school’s cleaning company worked over the summer. “Lots and lots of mold on furniture. She showed me pictures.”

Lawrence
Varner

Mold has been consistently reported as a problem at the elementary school due to a roof that is leaking in several spots. The county and School Board are discussing how to remedy the deteriorating roof, but no solutions have been approved.

Board member Dr. James Dumminger said he wondered if the school system may be able to get some of the $500 million Governor Ralph Northam set aside to improves heating and air conditioning systems in Virginia schools.

“In order to improve ventilation, we need to stop leaks in roofs. So I am wondering if there is any possibility of getting anything from there to help with that roof problem?” Dumminger asked.

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Michelle Wallace said the company, ADM, did clean the elementary school over the summer but wasn’t sure how it was actually cleaned.

“They went through and cleaned the building and got them ready. They typically focus on floors. I’m not sure typically how much they concentrate on furniture. We can find out specifically what they did this summer. I know that they were present during summer school and did the contact surfaces and things of that nature.”

Wallace said School Superintendent Dr. Barbara Johnson is still waiting to hear the county Board of Supervisors’ position on how to remedy the roof situation. Johnson was not present at the meeting.

“I was curious how many other classrooms were neglected,” Varner said.

Wallace said the administration would follow up on the situation.

“Why is a teacher walking in on that?” Varner asked.

The board said they were supposed to get monthly reports from the cleaning company but have not received a report in several months.

“We will follow up because that definitely should not have been the case,” Wallace said.

School board member Elzora Stiff asked that ADM make monthly, in-person reports about the cleanliness of the building to the school board.