BREAKING TUES. P.M.: The Alamance-Burlington School System is delaying the start of the 2023-2024 school year until September 5, 2023 (the day after Labor Day) to allow more time to evaluate all school campuses after mold was discovered in more than a dozen school buildings, school officials announced Tuesday evening after 6:30 p.m. in emailed and text messages to parents at all 37 ABSS school
The delay will not impact Alamance-Burlington Early College at ACC which has already started and is located on the community college campus, the ABSS announcement said.
A joint meeting of the school board, county commissioners, and the county state delegation has been scheduled for 3:00 p.m. next Monday to discuss the situation and next steps, according to the school system.
See story below, written and posted shortly before the ABSS announcement:
Alamance-Burlington school system officials announced Tuesday afternoon that a visual inspection had revealed the likelihood of mold contamination at “upwards of a dozen” ABSS schools.
“While these schools must be officially tested, preliminary findings have revealed mold issues on some surfaces and walls in some locations,” ABSS public information officer Les Atkins said in a press release issued Tuesday afternoon. “[We are] still awaiting official quality and lab results for Cummings High School, Williams High School, and Broadview Middle School.”
ABSS superintendent Dr. Dain Butler said that the “news comes at the worst possible time” as students are scheduled to return to their schools for the new school year next Monday morning.
School board chairman Sandy Ellington-Graves and vice chairman Ryan Bowden toured Williams High School Tuesday afternoon with commissioners Steve Carter and Craig Turner in order to observe the mold firsthand.
The cause of the mold has been attributed to the age of some schools, along with HVAC systems with insufficient air flow, high humidity this summer, and “structural damage that has developed over time.”
“We must address these issues, understanding that some can be quick fixes while others will require more substantial time and resources to fully remediate,” Butler said in the statement issued Tuesday afternoon by ABSS.
School officials said more information will be released as mold testing progresses, and that they will continue to collaborate with state and county leaders to determine the next steps.
Williams High School becomes fifth school with potential mold problem (earlier on Tues., Aug. 22, 2023): https://alamancenews.com/no-of-abss-schools-with-potential-mold-problem-grows-fifth-with-possible-problem-williams-high-school/
Two more schools – Cummings High School and Broadview Middle School next door – are latest two schools where mold might be a problem (Mon., Aug. 21, 2023): https://alamancenews.com/possible-mold-contamination-discovered-at-two-more-abss-schools/
Mold remediation finishes at Andrews Elementary School, contract approved for Newlin Elementary School (updated Sun., Aug. 20, 2023): https://alamancenews.com/update-mold-removal-work-at-andrews-elementary-now-complete-school-board-votes-for-contract-to-remove-mold-at-newlin-elementary/