WASHINGTON COUNTY, NC (WITN) – Pines Elementary School has been a topic of discussion for years after suspicion surrounding the school’s air quality came to the fore.
In 2021, the Piedmont Service Group produced a report revealing that high levels of mold had been detected in the building.
Washington County Superintendent Linda Carr said the decision to close the school was not a second thought because it was long overdue.
“Hearing results from Piedmont Service Group, which resulted from potential mold, mildew and a problematic roof over several years,” Carr said. “They made the decision to close this building virtually overnight and we relocated staff and students within a week.”
Despite the school being closed indefinitely, some people feel it should have been done sooner.
Vicki Barrera, who was a nurse at Pines Elementary from 2013 to 2016, says she was affected by mold, saying her doctor told her.
“She said I don’t know how you get up in the morning and I was like holy smoke,” Barrera said. “She said you had 90% mold toxicity in your body.”
And Barrera says the mold problem dates back to 2007.
“I knew there was mold there because we were going out for the summer and coming back and there would be mold on some of the teachers’ walls,” Barrera said. “Even on the back of their chair you could see the mold so they would come in and clean it up. during the day it was full of humidity.”
Carr says the pandemic was the driving force in bringing in Piedmont Service Group to handle the issue.
“Really, if it hadn’t been for COVID and this great focus on air quality with HVAC and what filters are you using, I don’t know if we would have commissioned an air quality study. air because you walk through the halls of this building and it’s just kind of a regular everyday school.
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