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ABSS discusses the next steps in preventing future mold cases

Alamance-Burlington Schools and county leaders discuss solutions to fixing widespread mold issues, preventing future problems from happening.

ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. — Alamance County leaders spent hours Monday night discussing solutions so Alamance-Burlington Schools won't ever have widespread issues with mold again.

One of the workers who cleaned out the buildings said it won't be easy.

WFMY News 2's Nixon Norman went to find out the county's plans moving forward. 

County Commissioners voted to hire engineers to inspect the conditions of all roofs and HVAC systems in every ABSS building.

Then we heard from Ben Bass, the Executive Vice President of Builder Services, a company that did a lot of the mold cleanup.

Bass said because of the excessive flooding from the roofing damage in the schools, he believes waiting for a study is the wrong decision. 

"When I tell you these buildings are leaking, I'm not talking about a little drip here and there. We're talking they'll fill up a 44-gallon trash can in less than an hour. They're leaking that bad. If it was my money, I wouldn't wait for a study. I would call the roofing company tomorrow and have some boots on the ground and fix some of these roofs," Bass said.

The school district also asked the county commissioners for permission to hire 41 building managers, one for each building. 

They'd essentially be maintenance experts, differing from school custodians. District leaders said there are more than 2,000 HVAC filters and only 4 HVAC workers. 

Both the board and Bass agreed the district would never be able to take preventative mold measures without proper staffing.

"This is part of the situation we're dealing with now or you have a wet ceiling tile, you put a work order in for the maintenance department to come out...they are backed up and they're all over the county, but if we had the building manager, they'd have people to take care of that," ABSS Cheif Operating Officer Greg Hook said. 

"This is not just a Band-Aid. This is a crisis and we've got to treat it like it's one because we just have to. There are no more excuses, no more he/she, whatever...we are at a point where we have got to go to work and be leaders," County Commissioner Pamela Thompson said. 

Toward the end of the meeting, commissioners voted to expedite contract bids for roofing and HVAC assessment. They're hoping they can report those assessments at another county meeting in two weeks. 

“We’re focused on fixing issues and not hiding issues. We are committed to working with the County to get things right in these buildings for our students and staff,” Lowell Rogers, ABSS Deputy Superintendent.  


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