Breaking News
More () »

GCS forced to throw out books following mold discovery in library

The school's principal said the media center will be closed while a contractor comes in to remove the mold.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Guilford County Schools confirmed mold has been found in one of its school's libraries and now all of the books have been thrown out. 

Southern Elementary School found mold in its media center last week, according to a message sent to parents from the school's principal. 

The same message was sent to WFMY News 2 from a GCS spokesperson Tuesday morning. 

The message says the school will remove all books within the media center and replace them with new ones, which could take a few months. 

Pamela Caines' grandson goes to Southern Elementary. 

She wonders where the funds to replace all the books will come from. 

"He does like, he loves to read, and this is the first that I've heard about the issue... hopefully they'll get it cleared up quickly and get it back open, but I don't know how they're going to replenish their book supply with the funding the way it is in schools these days who knows?" explained Caines. 

In response to the situation, the school's maintenance department hired an independent contractor to clean. 

They say the library will stay closed this week while crews clean. 

Avileni Hernandez also has a student at Southern, she wonders why the mold wasn't found before the school year began. 

"It kind of makes you think about it, like why did they figure it out until now because when you have mold, it doesn't show up out of nowhere it's something that's been coming for a while already, so it is kind of something to think about," said Hernandez. 

A spokesperson for the school says GCS prioritizes reports of water intrusions or mold and works to address them as quickly as possible. 

The message to parents also says the school system will replace all the books in the media center, but that process could take months. 

In the meantime, they say they have over 7,000 titles in their eBook library and students can use resources available through the public library. 

WFMY News 2 reached out to the district for pictures of the mold and interviews about it, but GCS denied our request.

Read the full message from Principal Johnathan Moore here: 

"Good evening, parents. This is principal Johnathan Moore with an important message about Southern Elementary. We received a report of mold in our media center. Guilford County Schools’ Maintenance Department hired an independent contractor to investigate, and a slightly elevated level of mold was found in the media center. To remedy the situation, the media center will be closed next week for the contractor to clean in accordance with recommended protocols. In addition, we will be removing all books from the media center and replacing them with new books. The book replacement process will take a few months, but students will still work with Media Specialist during this time. Southern Elementary has an extensive eBook library of nearly 7,500 titles and the free resources available through our public libraries, which will support students’ access to reading materials until new books arrive." 

Southern Elementary is the latest Triad school to confirm mold issues. Alamance-Burlington Schools just worked to remove high levels of mold in dozens of its schools. The cleanup delayed the start of the school year, but the kids are now back in school. 

RELATED: ABSS discusses the next steps in preventing future mold cases


Before You Leave, Check This Out