CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – As a new school year begins across the Grand Strand and Pee Dee, Horry County educators have new procedures for concerns about indoor air quality.
Horry County Schools now has an official plan to make sure the air in its 57 buildings is as clean as possible.
“We were very pleased in how the schools looked this year,” said executive director of facilities Mark Wolfe. “They were in much better shape than I expected to see them perhaps. I think our staff did a really great job this year getting our schools ready.”
Wolfe shared the district’s new indoor air quality protocol to the school board Monday night. This comes after months of complaints from parents of children in several schools worried mold in those buildings is making their kids sick.
Wolfe says 15 HCS facilities employees went through training this summer to learn about how to look for mold and what to do if it’s found.
“We received certification from mold inspection to remediation and we are equipped to be able to respond and make assessments, should there be some sort of issue that’s reported,” he said.
Wolfe also says those 15 workers will respond to indoor air quality concerns in teams, based on the north, south, east or west regions of the county. The response procedure says that all concerns must be reported to the school’s principal. Then, each employee reporting a concern is required to complete an indoor air quality survey.
That survey information and the concern will be reviewed and appropriate action would be taken. HCS will also use an environmental consultant as needed.
Superintendent Dr. Rick Maxey says that training happened through a partnership with Horry-Georgetown Technical College.
“It’s based in information from the Environmental Protection Agency (and) from OSHA,” Dr. Maxey said.
The school district also hired an environmental contractor this summer, which can be used for jobs to improve air quality that HCS employees can’t do alone.