Health concerns at Acme Delco Elementary
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Repairs at one Columbus County School have parents worried about the health and safety of their children. Over four hundred kids, some as young as 3 years old, attend Acme Delco Elementary School in Riegelwood. Construction on a new roof has some parents concerned. School officials say they would never put the students in danger. Principal Janet Hedrick says there have been problems with Acme Delco roof for years. “Maintenance would be called out and they would come and fix the leaks, then it would leak somewhere else and they would fix that, then it would leak in a previous place. The roof was just in poor condition,” said principal Janet Hedrick. When the school board had the opportunity to receive lottery funding for the $400,000 project, they wanted to take advantage before it was too late. Some parents say they're worried the construction is putting their children's health and education at risk. “I do have some concerns regarding the smell. My daughter, in second grade, complains of headaches on a daily basis and she says it's hard to concentrate because of all the noise,” said parent Heather Robertson. Principal Hedrick is well aware of the concerns, as her granddaughter is a student at the school. Principal Hedrick has already closed off two classrooms to try to protect students from any health hazards. “We've had the health department come down on several occasions and check for any mold or mildew and they have found no mold or mildew.” Last month she sent out a letter apologizing for the distractions, but the end could be in sight as construction is scheduled to be completed next Sunday. Superintendent Dan Strickland said all vacant rooms will have new carpet and professional cleaning before the students return. The education lottery program, which funded the project, has since been redirected into a reserve by Governor Bev Perdue. A spokesperson for the governor said funding for current projects, like this one, will not be cut.

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It should not be a surprise to anybody. It has long been known that Columbus county takes care of Whiteville and Tabor City first. The schools and communities on the east and west ends get nothing. With the high minority numbers in the east and west sides, it is strange that the NAACP or the ACLU has not looked into it. It is just business as usual in Whiteville with the good ole' boy network. If you don't believe me, look at the Columbus county government and Columbus county schools and see how many people in the top slots are related....
This school should have been close years ago.In 1969-1970 We went to that school.So did Mrs Janet.And some of our childen went there.When my kids went to this school even back then in 1990s,when it would rain the ROOF would leak in the halls,There would be trash cans line up down the halls to catch the water.Is that good for our kids.There was always water on the bathroom floor where toilets were leaking .Is that safe? Doctor are getting rich off of kids at this school.What is the celling tiles made out of? Shout for new school.
I went to school there also, and yea you are right the ceilings have been leaking for a very long time. I also remember trash cans lined up and down the halls to catch the water. The bathrooms leak, the play ground holds water that smells like sewer. I have heard myself teachers telling the kids to watch where they are walking because the puddles of water is poo!! The teachers there are great, they should not have top teach in that atmosphere as well as our children should not have to learn in that atmosphere. We the parents, grandparents, Aunts and Uncles need to make our voices heard! If we all keep on calling the board, everyday if we have to, they will eventually do something.
This situation is not in the best interest of our children. The school board should of brought in mobile classrooms. Let the school board spend a few days there breathing that smell, and see how they like it. Think about this, next election day. Might be time for a change.
I have been there and the smell Is bad. I know it can't be good to breath in .
It sounds like a political situation between parents and board of education. Has OSHA been in to check between roofing and ceiling for mold and or mildew? Wet roofs have a tendency to follow a path of least resistance and can damage a lot in its path....leaving water and mildew to form. Parents SHOULD be concerned, particularly with those whom have asthma and or allergies to molds. Additionally, aren't spores and bacteria spread when disturbed????
I agree with Concerned citizen for children/families. And also our kids our fixing to take the eog's and are trying to prepare for them and with all the noise that is going on,the kids are having a hard time focusing on their school work. I really hope that osha steps in and makes the county get mobile trailers in, if it were in any other part of the county, they would have already had the mobile units in place
Out with the old and in with the new. I say tear it all down and build a new school in a more centralized area. That place is a DUMP and a health hazard to all that walk those halls and into those classrooms. Shame on the Superintendent of Columbus County schools and the commissioners who serve the people of Columbus County. They really don't care about anyone other than themselves. The people need to wake up and vote for someone other than the same ones in office if they want things done differently that would better EVERYONE. Not just "a select few"!