While students in Kanawha County, WV are enjoying the last few weeks of their summer vacation, construction crews are scrambling to finish some major renovations. Students head back to class August 11.
Take a walk through Mary Ingles Elementary in Tad, WV and it may be hard to believe students will be back in class in less than a month. The school is getting a new roof, new ceilings, new floor tiles and new heating and air conditioning units.
Earlier this year parents were concerned about numerous leaks inside the school and the fact that mold had been detected.
"The problem initially was black mold," said project supervisor Marty Ferguson.
Ferguson said the mold and the leaks that caused it are gone.
"It is all removed washed down and then it is painted," Ferguson described. "It is painted with a paint that seals it and has a mold prohibitor in it."
Kanawha County Schools Maintenance Director Terry Hollandsworth said it isn't unusual to see work going on in schools throughout the county during the summer. But he said there have been more roofing related projects than usual. He said the problems are a symptom of an aging group of school buildings.
South Charleston Middle School is one of close to a dozen schools getting a new roof or major roof repairs. Hollandsworth said that project is 45 percent complete.
"It is extensive. I know they are doing everything they can to ensure student safety," said Alexandra Criner, a new Vice Principal at the school.
This summer Kanawha County Schools spent about $1.37 million dollars on roofing projects alone.
Hollandsworth said county wide all of the school air conditioners are working at this time. He said maintenance crews have been changing filters and belts and cleaning coils to keep the machines running properly.
Kanawha County Schools Director of Facilities and Planning Chuck Wilson said the new Edgewood Elementary will open on time.
Wilson said a few things will not be done. He said some of the exterior panels are on back order. Crews will be touching up paint and working on trim pieces in the evenings even after school starts. Wilson said the next big task is asphalt. Crews are hoping the weather will allow that work to be completed soon.
Wilson said there was no money in the budget for a playground but funding was secured to pay for one at the last minute. He said the playground won't be installed for at least a month after school starts.