Crews work to remove mold at Willowridge High School

FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas – Crews are working to remove mold inside Willowridge High School after construction workers found the problem last week.

Fort Bend Independent School District said crews shut down the power in the high school in late June and they believe prolonged humidity is what caused the mold.

"I got an email last Wednesday. They said they're going to change everything because it has a lot of mold," said Michelle Jaquez, whose daughter will be a junior at Willowridge this year.

The district said Principal Thomas Graham sent a letter to parents letting them know what's going on.  

Cotton Holdings, which is a restoration company based in Katy, said trucks were outside the school along with large red dumpsters.

In the note to parents, the school said it is “working with environmental experts to clean and sanitize the building." The cleanup is expected to take several weeks and crews are working seven days a week.

"I thought, 'It's really good that they're going to change everything because mold is really bad for the kids,'" said Jaquez.

Workers will have to remove all furniture, carpet, ceiling tiles, plasterboard and personal items from the affected areas, according to the note.

"Pretty disgusting, but I'm glad they're about to change everything," said Brenda Cora, Jaquez' daughter.

The district said its summer staff was not in the building with the mold because they had already relocated for the original construction project.

Staff is now working out of Marshall High School, which is about 2 miles away.

That is where new students will register and where students can pick up transcripts and diplomas for the time being.

The district said removal of the mold should be completed by the first day of school, which is Aug. 22, but if it's not, the district make arrangements to temporarily relocate Willowridge High School students.

For the time being, band camp and summer athletic activities will be relocated. The district said new student orientation will take place at Willowridge High School football field on Aug. 11.

"Willowridge has been a standup school for this community for a long time, It is a problem that nobody wants to see," said Antonio Talley, who is a proud Willowridge High School alumnus.

"That is where I graduated from. (I have) a lot of friends and family that has been through that school as well. It's a great place, taught me a lot, taught me how to be a man, graduated, a lot of good memories there."

He said he doesn't have children who go to Willowridge High School, but he heard about the mold through an alumni group on Facebook.

He said the school is dear to him and he's glad the district put out the note.

"We want people to go to school, get their education, be safe and have a safe environment to go and be safe at," Talley said. "I'm glad they found it and I’m glad they’re trying to do something about it and I hope that anybody that can help will come out and help them as well,"

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