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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