CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Parents of South Charleston Middle School students are outraged over mold and other ongoing faulty building conditions they say they reported to the Board of Education a year ago.
Kanawha County Schools has hired an outside environmental agency to conduct air quality testing at the school next week, according to Superintendent Ron Duerring.
Sarah Providenti, a seventh-grader at South Charleston Middle, says she has been to the doctor eight times with respiratory problems since school started last month.
Tests revealed that she is allergic to mold, though she had never faced problems in the past, and now she suffers from daily headaches and is required to take an allergy shot once a day, according to her mother, Kristi.
"I feel horrible every day and I don't feel like going to school, but I have to," Sarah, an honor roll student, told board members at a meeting Thursday evening. "I love South Charleston Middle but these problems have to be cleaned up. I don't think it's fair that I have to deal with being sick or give up the school I love."
Visible water leaks and mold are prevalent throughout the school, including in classrooms, hallways and in the auditorium, with most of the problem rooted to the roof, according to South Charleston parent David Haden.
"The conditions there are criminal. Absolutely criminal," Haden said. "I'm very, very upset. I came to this board last fall about roof leaks and thought I had gotten some action taken, but it amounted to Band-Aids for a very serious problem. ... It's only gotten worse."
Haden says that teachers have also complained of health problems.
Board members voted Thursday for South Charleston Middle to be the subject of its Major Improvement Project submitted to the School Building Authority this year. If approved by the SBA, the school's gym and auditorium HVAC system will be replaced -- another ongoing problem at the school.
Plans are already in the works for the school to receive a new roof, Duerring said, but it takes time.