The Camp Verde Unified School District wants to make sure mold is under control at Camp Verde high and middle schools, but it’s going to take a lot of work, said Facilities Director Stacey Barker.
While air samples have shown that the growing mold problem doesn’t yet pose a health risk for students and faculty, the fact remains that “allergies are allergies,” Barker said.
To keep things from getting worse, Barker said he’s been monitoring the situation closely. It’s a problem schools across the state are dealing with and have dealt with, Barker said, who recently attended a meeting addressing the issue.
The School Facilities board, a government body that oversees capital improvement and other large-scale projects at Arizona’s public school campuses, sent some architects to Camp Verde earlier this month to start to look at the local mold problem, Barker said.
The group is going to develop a plan that will likely involve removing exterior walls at the high school and middle school and treating the mold underneath, Barker said.
Work could start as soon as October or November, Barker said.
The district is no stranger to mold problems; in recent years extensive work had to be done at the elementary school that required some classrooms to stay empty.
Barker said that he thinks there will be money available from the state to pay for the work, avoiding any huge strain on the district’s already tight budget. However, Barker did give a nod to the current financial crisis the state is dealing with and said that nothing is ever certain.
“The state can do what it wants to do,” Barker said.
In the meantime, the school district is working to keep as much water away from the school buildings as possible, water that could help accelerate mold growth.
There are plans to continue to build additional channels to divert water away from the schools, but Barker is confident an extensive redesign of the district’s drainage system won’t be necessary.
Earlier this year, a rainstorm led to extensive flooding around the schools; Barker said in June that there was no major damage and that the drainage system “did what it was supposed to do.”