Area schools dealing with moisture, mold issues after rainy weather

An exceptionally rainy summer has forced officials at some county schools to deal with mold this year.

Lexington-Richland Five School District reported a handful of cases and is working now to eradicate the issue and prevent any harmful effects. Chief Information Officer Mark Bounds stated that small amounts of mold were found in classrooms at two district schools as well as on a few buses. A professional cleanup team came in and completed removal in all but two rooms before school started. Students and faculty were not allowed in spaces where mold was still present.

“The amount of rain and moisture this spring and summer has created the perfect environment for mold and other moisture-related issues,” Bounds said. “We are taking immediate and aggressive action to ensure that all our schools are safe.”

After four additional District Five schools were found to have excessive moisture levels, administrators elected to assess the air quality on all campuses.

“We did not create this problem, but we are taking every measure to address it as it occurs,” Bounds said. “These assessments are being conducted as a proactive precaution.”

At Lexington One, all principals and custodians were asked to do a physical walk-through three weeks prior to the start of school. They made sure all air-conditioning units were cooling properly and checked to spot any evidence of dangerous mold. Chief Communications Officer Mary Beth Hill said any questions coming from principals about high moisture levels were responded to immediately. Campuses will continue to be monitored per standard procedure.

Such is the case at Lexington Two where Assistant Superintendent of Administration and Student Services Jim Hinton said maintenance and custodial staffs regularly inspect for areas where mold and mildew could grow.  The district also has one person whose job it is to specifically keep tabs on campus air quality.

“If mold or mildew is reported, he responds to the scene and determines what needs to be done to correct the situation,” Hinton said.

Lexington Three has not reported any cases of mold in school classrooms.