Air-quality issues force Fayetteville elementary students to move to Spring Lake school

Cumberland County News

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – A Fayetteville elementary school with air-quality issues will be busing students to another school for the rest of the school year.

Students are still attending T.C. Berrien for now, but starting Nov. 12, they’ll be moved to W.T. Brown Elementary in Spring Lake.

The problems at T.C. Berrien were first noticed by maintenance crews earlier this month, Cumberland County Schools Associate Superintendent Lindsay Whitley said.

Whitley said an air-quality expert tested the building and said the problems are contained to about 10 classrooms.

“It’s not the whole building. I know there were 10 classrooms that had to relocate due to air-quality issues,” Whitley said.

The students have been relocated to other rooms inside the building for now, but will be moving next month so the repairs don’t impact learning, Whitley said.

“We know repairs can be disruptive to the learning environment.”

Old, faulty air conditioning units are blamed for the poor air quality.

“We are taking every necessary precaution. We don’t want anyone to become sick,” Whitley said. “We don’t want to wait until it becomes an even bigger issue.”

Structural issues with the floor will also be addressed.

Whitley said they chose W.T. Brown as the temporary location for students because it has enough space to accommodate the approximately 250 T.C. Berrien students.

“I’m just hoping they hurry up and fix it (and) hoping it doesn’t cause any problems because she does have bronchitis. So I’m hoping it doesn’t cause any extra problems,” said Jamaica Bromell, whose daughter goes to T.C. Berrien.

“The safety of our students and staff is our top priority,” Whitley said.

The district is meeting with parents Wednesday to get their feedback on how transportation and schedules will work.

There is no word on when the repairs will be finished.

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