New air quality initiatives in Horry County Schools

Grand Strand

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Horry County Schools is putting new protocols regarding air quality in place before the start of the new school year.

For several months, St. James Elementary parents complained mold in the building caused their kids to develop chronic sickness and have spoken at multiple school board meetings about the issue.

Towards the end of the school year, two students tested positive for mold toxins. Test results from one of the parents show it’s the same mold type that was found in classrooms following air quality test earlier this year.

HCS said roof leaks and moisture after Hurricane Florence caused mold to develop in the building.

Replacing the roof started a couple of weeks ago and the district says it should be wrapped up in November.

“A lot of the roofing projects take longer than three months which is somewhat of our summer break so a lot of those projects carry into the school year.

“We will make sure  that we work with school administrators on all these projects and have the least disruption not only to our students but to our staff as well,” said Lisa Bourcier, with Horry County Schools

Horry County Schools said when it comes to the issue of air quality they have come up with new district-wide initiatives this upcoming school year including implementing specific guidelines so administrators can report concerns.

The district said they have taken examples from Greenville County Schools to draft their own protocols.

“We have had a number of employees get certified in indoor air quality and we have established 15 IAQ teams that we have established throughout the school district to be able to go out to these facilities and investigate their concerns as well.”

The district says a lot of their protocols are adopted by OSHA, EPA, and CDC standards. They have also contracted an environmental consultant to give guidance to the district on an as-needed basis.

This past legislative session lawmakers passed a bill to create a committee to study the impacts of mold in public buildings including schools. News 13 has learned a committee has been appointed and they hope to have their first meeting before Labor Day.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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