RICHMOND, Va, (WRIC) — Students and teachers will return to William F. Fox Elementary School on Monday in Richmond.
This, after the school was temporarily closed due to black mold in the basement classrooms.
The unexpected find also means unexpected expenses for the school system.
“We are experiencing challenges each and every day and these unexpected events that take place will have a severe impact on our budget,” said Richmond Public Schools COO, Tommy Kranz.
Kranz said the work at William F. Fox Elementary will cost over $80,000, which according to Kranz is nearly 5% Of the total maintenance and repair budget for the entire district.
“That’s going to hurt our ability to be proactive on other buildings,” said Kranz.
Kranz said one of the difficulties in Richmond is how old the buildings are.
“Remember two-thirds of our buildings are over 50 years of age, one-half of those numbers are over 70 years of age,” said Kranz. “This particular building is a 105-year-old building.”
He encourages teachers and staff to report any and all problems but said that a limited budget means many cosmetic repairs get bumped on the priority list.
“The question that has to come up is do we have enough funds for what we anticipate are life-safety related items for the remainder of the school year,” said Kranz.
Kranz said the number one priority is safety and he never wants someone to question going to work or sending their kids to school.
“We would never and I mean never allow our students and staff be in a building that would be an unhealthy environment,” said Kranz. “That would absolutely not take place.”