At first glance, Lugoff Elementary School looks ready for a new school year. But take a closer look and you will see there are some little spots causing big problems. That's because those little spots are surface mold. And that mold was found in 14 of the estimated 35 classrooms at Lugoff Elementary. Now, this mold isn't as bad as you may think, but the school still wants to take every precaution possible to keep its students healthy.
"It's not like things are totally covered with it and it's growing everywhere. But still, if we've got any sign of it at all, it means we've got an issue and we want to err on the side of caution." says Billy Smith, the Director of Operation for Kershaw County School District.
"Erring on the side of caution" means calling in the professionals. The cleaning crew's first step is to remove any items that are small enough to be taken outside and simply wiped down. Then if anything is too big, or on the walls, they seal up the rooms and bring in the big guns.
"They bring in these air scrubbers that have HEPA filters in them and it brings in, when they start rubbing it down, it puts it in the air. This assures that the particles in the air that we don't want there are brought in and caught and good clean air is extracted out." explans Smith.
Then the air monitoring company comes in to take samples of the air to make sure it's okay.
"And most times, when we get those test results back from the air sampling company, we are told that the air inside the classroom that we just cleaned is cleaner than the air outside." Smith says.
So all these steps are great, but they do take time. Lugoff Elementary was supposed to begin school on Monday, August 19th, and they will now begin on Thursday, August 22nd. So how are parents and kids taking the news?
"Actually, our community has been great about this. They understand this wasn't something we would've like to have happened. They didn't want it to happen either, but they appreciate the fact that we gave them a couple days heads up to make alternate plans for their students while they'll be out of school." says Mary Anne Byrd, the Director for Communications for Kershaw County School District.
And after all of this is said and done, Lugoff Elementary is looking forward to a great school year.