Crews work to remove rotten wood at Henderson School

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 22, 2011

By Sarah Campbell
SALISBURY — Crews were at Henderson Independent High School to remove portions of rotten wood from the building Monday, a school system official said.
Restoration Plus Services, a general contractor that specializes in fire and water damage mitigation and repair, discovered the damp wood in the school during an inspection in May.
Gene Miller, assistant superintendent for operations for the Rowan-Salisbury School System, said the company was called in to survey the facility and check air quality after a report of mold.
Miller said the tests showed no abnormality for mold.
“Never has there been any problem with mold,” he said Tuesday.
But Norma Brooks, a retired Henderson teacher, said mold has been an issue at the school for years.
Brooks, who worked at the school for 11 years, was diagnosed with allergies to mold about four years ago after suffering from headaches and dizzy spells for months.
She said she went back and forth to her doctor before the culprit was pinpointed.
When Brooks told then-principal Bob Pulliam about her allergies, he had her classroom checked for mold.
“When they pulled the carpet up it was full of mold and mildew,” she said.
Brooks said she moved to another classroom while the carpet was removed.
Miller said it’s not uncommon for the school’s maintenence staff to remove old carpet and find mold or mildew.
“It’s going to grow some mold or mildew if it gets wet, that doesn’t mean it’s harmful,” he said. “There are no reports that have ever shown levels of mold or mildew that are out of the ordinary.”
Despite the disposal of the carpet, Brooks continued to battle allergies until retiring this year.
“Throughout the summer I didn’t have any problems, but when I would go back in the fall, all the symptoms would come back,” she said. “It was horrible.”
Brooks said students were also constantly complaining about headaches, allergies and sore throats.
“I couldn’t say it was because of the classroom,” she said. “But I told them to have their parents take them to the doctor to see if they are allergic to mold and mildew.”
Miller said this week’s work is a standard maintenence job.
“This is really nothing for anybody to be concerned about,” he said.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.