GCHS Classroom Closed for Possible Mold

By Scott Stewart

Possible mold has prompted school officials to close a classroom at Giles County High School.


What appears to be mold was found along the ceiling and above windows in a classroom in the original wing of the GCHS building and is accompanied by a strong, musty odor in the room.


Giles County Director of Schools Phillip Wright said the lack of air flow in the building and closing the rooms off during the summer sometimes creates the atmosphere for mold to grow, especially when moisture is added from a leaking roof.


“The safety of our students and faculty are our top priority and that is not a safe situation,” Wright said. “That classroom is closed indefinitely while we bring in someone to test it and other areas of concern in the building.”


Wright said it has not been confirmed to be mold, adding that having a company come in and test for mold can cost the school system $600-$800. 


Repairing the roof at GCHS has been an ongoing project over the past few years. Wright said finding the source of the leak above the closed classroom is also key to removing the threat of mold.


Over its past couple of meetings, the Giles County Board of Education has heard from a company that proposes to make HVAC and other changes to the school system’s aging infrastructure that could help correct the conditions that promote the growth of mold and poor air quality.


Representatives from that company are set to speak at a school board work session at 4 p.m. Aug. 30 just hours after newly elected board members are sworn into office. The work session will take place at the Central Office at the corner of West Flower Street and Richland Drive. It is open to the public.


“We can argue about the need for a new school all we want, but when you walk into a room and the smell of mold stops you in the doorway, I don’t think anyone is going to argue that is something we have to address,” Wright said. “I just hope we don’t find more as we check other areas of the school.”


“This is just one reason we need to seriously remodel some of our schools and build a new school,” he added. “I hope the newly elected officials care enough about our children to help get something done.”

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