APS takes action on mold issue at high school



ATLANTA - Atlanta Public School district leaders say they are taking aggressive action after parents complained of mold at a local high school.

Parents at Booker T. Washington High School in southwest Atlanta told Channel 2 Action News they were worried about mold and raw sewage issues at the school and sent pictures documenting the problem.

Steve Smith, the associate superintendent at Atlanta Public Schools, said the school was retested Friday afternoon, and they identified four areas that still had low levels of mold spores.

"We are very aggressively dealing with this issue, and this issue, based on the excessive rainfalls, will be an issue we have to continue to deal with," Smith told Channel 2' s Rachel Stockman.

Over the weekend, Channel 2 spotted crews from a sewer repair company at the school, and also saw heavy-duty air filters placed in one of the rooms that had tested positive for mold.

"We worked through the evening Friday and Saturday getting those areas cleaned or secured. They will not be accessible to students or staff until it is appropriately cleared," Smith said.

Smith said students will not be allowed back into the four affected areas until further testing is done.

But Valerie Williams, an alumna who first brought the problem to Channel 2's attention, said this is not enough.

"No, I don't think it is enough. I think they need to remediate this entire facility inside and out," explained Williams. "They built a $150 million Taj Mahal for the north side, yet our kids on the south side have to walk with mold and mildew."

"We are candid. We addressed the issue as soon as we were notified," Smith said.