Halifax County High School Starting Year Off With Mold Problem

Halifax Co., VA -- The summer rainfall is being blamed for a mold and mildew problem at Halifax County High School. One teacher even requested to move classrooms because of health problems.

This is not the type of thing you want to deal with right at the start of the school year. But the Superintendent says she is making students' and teachers' health a priority.
When Halifax County High School began a project to fix the roof over the summer, they had no idea what kind of problems that project that would cause.

"During the process of putting the roof on, we had some problems with some rain coming in because it was exposed," said Merele Herndon, superintendent.
A perfect storm of greater than average rainfall, rarely turning on their air conditioning and turning off exhaust fans led to mold and mildew throughout several classrooms and the girls locker room.
"It has been quite a bit of stress on our teachers, quite a bit stress on our parents," said Albert Randolph, principal.
They spoke with the Health Department and had school custodians replace several ceiling tiles.
"It would be somewhere in the hundreds of dollars that replaced the tile," said Randolph.
"We are taking care of business. We are working very hard to make sure it is a safe environment," said Herndon.
But the problem isn't fixed yet. One teacher got an upper respiratory infection. The school offered to move her to a different classroom.
"We didn't want to take any chances. We made that offer to other people too," said Herndon.
They plan to have an independent company check the air quality.
When we asked if they could guarantee that this problem is gone, Herndon responded "I can't definitively until we have our air samples in but we are doing everything. We are taking this very seriously."
The company will get air samples next week from inside and outside the building. They do not know yet how much that will cost.