Extensive preventive maintenance has been the norm at Camp Verde Unified School District, as efforts have been made to prevent mold growth and remove potentially dangerous chemicals from the drinking water.
Improvements to the drainage system at the campus complex off of Camp Lincoln Road were recently tested when a water main broke; the drainage system worked perfectly, Facilities Director Stacey Barker said.
Barker was less confident about the way the school buildings had been erected two decades ago. Things hadn’t been built and painted properly, Barker said, which is exacerbating the current mold problem at Camp Verde High School and Camp Verde Middle School.
A crew needs to “sandblast the school down to its bare bones,” Barker said, to repair the damage and prevent future problems.
The schools will also get a new coat of mold-resistant paint over Christmas break, and the mold problem should be completely dealt with by the end of the current school year, Barker said.
“We want to get this done while having as little impact on students as possible,” Barker said.
In the meantime, work continues on the school’s water system.
Like many groundwater sources in the West, the school’s well contains higher amounts of naturally occurring arsenic than found in other parts of the country.
Arsenic is a chemical element that, when concentrated highly enough, can be dangerous.
Students haven’t been in danger; it was the rules that got stricter.
It wasn’t an issue for the school district until the Environment Protection Agency raised the standards for acceptable arsenic in drinking water several years ago; the district, and many others, suddenly found the drinking water was now considered unsafe by federal standards.
The district is installing a titanium-based filtering system to bring drinking water back within acceptable federal standards.