PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — During an emergency Pender County School Board meeting on Wednesday, board members learned mold growth in several schools will keep schools closed longer than expected.
Mold remediation, which has yet to start, will most likely not be finished by the school district’s planned October 8 start date.
Mold was spotted in several schools, including West Pender Middle, Trask High School and Pender High School, which is also serving as an evacuee shelter.
77 people, including custodians and their family members, remain in the Pender shelter.
Yesterday, the NC General Assembly voted to allow school districts to waive 20 school days, but Pender County Schools will hit the 20 day mark on Tuesday, according to information announced during the board meeting.
As for the mold, the school board learned there is equipment in place that is stopping the mold and mildew from spreading, but that comes at a cost of between $65,000 and $90,000 a day to run.
Pender County Schools says the district is in the process of completing needed air quality testing, surface testing and repairs to ensure its facilities are safe for the return of staff and students.
As of Wednesday afternoon, traditional calendar staff will tentatively return to work on Tuesday, Oct. 9, and students on Wednesday, Oct. 10.
Penderlea School staff will return on Oct. 5, with students returning to Penderlea on Oct. 9.
Pender Early College staff will return to work tomorrow, Thursday, as the Burgaw Campus has passed air and surface tests conducted by Cape Fear Community College. Pender Early College students will return on Monday, Oct. 8.
The school board is also meeting again Tuesday for their regularly scheduled meeting.