Johnston County parents concerned about mold, rot in classroom trailers

Johnston County News

GARNER, N.C. (WNCN) — A local mom was so outraged about her daughter’s classroom conditions at Westview Elementary School that she started an online petition.

Holly Garrity says when she realized her 10-year-old daughter’s classroom was making her sick — she had to do something.

“We started noticing it definitely was coming from the classroom because it would go away on the weekend and we realized there was what appeared to be mold inside the walls and there was issues with rot in the floors and the ceilings falling in and things like that,” explained Garrity.

Garrity says overcrowding at Westview Elementary in Garner caused the school to use some trailers as classrooms.

“I mean, I’m not thrilled about the trailers,” said Garrity. “You don’t love your child walking out to a trailer and if there’s bad weather and all that. But the last thing you want to think about is them going into a classroom with a mold in it or other safety hazards in there.”

She believes the trailers are safety hazards. Her pictures tell the story.

“The floors have rotted out,” said Garrity. “The ceiling is falling in. Some of these trailers are in really rough shape. My daughters talked about when the hole in the wall was there they just covered it up with a piece of paper.”

Garrity ‘s petition, less than 24 hours old, already has nearly 200 signatures and dozens of comments from concerned parents.

“I talked to some other parents in the neighborhood and realized how many of them had also seen things, talked to other teachers and parents and all had the same concerns and felt like they were hitting dead ends and I said okay,” Garrity said.

Garrity says the school told her that on Tuesday they moved the kids out of those trailers and they are looking at the issues.

“This is a big deal and I know it’s not gonna be a cheap fix and I know that that concerns them but it has to be done,” said Garrity.

Johnston County Schools sent CBS 17 a statement:

“JCPS Facility Services has been working with West View Elementary school administration regarding roof leaks in two mobile units which house fifth grade students at the school. These two units in question are rental units. 

We became aware of these issues related to one of the mobile units yesterday.  We contacted the rental company to assess and begin repairs on the roof leak which has caused a hole in the ceiling this weekend during the rain. The second mobile unit has a roof leak we found during inspection which caused wall damage. Both of these are being addressed today with a temporary patch due to impending weather. A permanent solution will begin tomorrow on the classroom repairs and the roof repairs will begin during this week dependent on dry weather conditions. There are no students in these rooms during these repairs. 

We will implement all necessary steps to ensure that the repairs and air quality of these units are taken care of in a prompt and effective manner. We appreciate the collaboration with West View Elementary administration, Facility Services in JCPS, and with the rental company as necessary repairs are made. The educational environment for our students is crucial and important. School administration is communicating with the parents of the students in these classroom mobile units.”

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