PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Twenty percent of classrooms at Walton Elementary in Prince George County are infested with mold.
The school has been dealing with the problem for a couple of years. It was shut down for two days this past February as the district worked to control and remove the mold.
People are asking how long they have to live in the conditions as they wait for a plan to be put into action that would bring a new school to the district.
“This is a significant issue for us. We are taking it very seriously,” the district’s superintendent, Dr. Lisa Pennycuff, told 8News on Wednesday.
In 2018, a piece of land with Walton Elementary’s name on it was given to the county.
“Folks on the school board really weren’t in favor of that, they didn’t care for that location because of redistricting, transportation issues and one thing and another and there was a stalemate on that,” the county’s Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Donald Hunter said.
Since then, where to put the new school remains up in the air as do elevated carbon dioxide levels and stubborn mold inside many of Walton’s classrooms.
“I certainly hate the fact that there’s anything unhealthy at that school,” Hunter explained.
Hunter told 8News that school officials asked for a bigger school than the county originally planned on paying for.
“We gotta fund it,” he said. “We gotta figure out how it would be and it would be primarily probably a larger tax increase.”
Hunter says the district is asking the board for $1.8 million to begin designing.
“So they can start working on the basic design no matter where it goes,” Hunter told 8News.
The board is looking into two possible locations, one outside Fort Lee and another one Middle Road, for the school, according to Hunter. There is no construction timeline as the board will plan to meet with the district on Tuesday to release funds for the school’s design phase.