Two South Carolina schools will have mold damage, drainage and HVAC fixed.
Beaufort County, South Carolina’s school board approved a $3.4 million plan to fix mold damage, drainage and HVAC at Whale Branch Elementary and Middle schools.
This comes one month after mold was uncovered in the walls, reported Island Packet. Construction workers found high-water activity mold inside the walls at both schools while replacing classroom HVAC units.
According to district spokeswoman Candace Bruder, the mold was probably a result of faulty air-conditioning installations performed 20 years ago. However, the mold was present only in walls adjacent to the units and not in the units themselves, reported Bruder to the Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette.
Staff at both schools were asked to work remotely Sept. 25-28 so that Terracon, an environmental consulting firm, could confirm the presence of mold and also confirm that the mold has been properly sealed off.
Students returned to both buildings on Oct. 5 for hybrid classes, reported Island Packet.
The district will pay $1.645 million to complete the work at Whale Branch Elementary. $705,000 will go to completing the originally planned HVAC work for the entire building. The other $940,000 will go toward replacing outdoor facades for the building, mold remediation and drainage work, according to the district.
The facade replacement will raise the elevation of the building to avoid groundwater, according to Island Packet.
The drainage work at both buildings will include site grading near the building, which will allow for drainage. This will clean existing storm water pipes and connect condensate lines and roof drains to underground storm water pipes.
The district will pay $1,730,500 to complete the work at Whale Branch Middle, $830,000 of which will go toward the originally planned HVAC work, with the remaining $900,500 for drainage work and mold remediation.
The additional work will move the planned completion date for work at both schools to November 2021.