The Trinity Alps Unified School District received more bad news this week from mold inspectors, resulting in immediate closure of the entire main building at Trinity High School as well as the cafeteria and kitchen facilities at both the high school and Weaverville Elementary School.
The high school gymnasium was already quarantined due to previous testing that indicated the presence of high levels of black mold spores.
Closure of the main Trinity High School building was ordered Monday morning after the latest test results came in on Sunday. The closure includes the main office, counseling center, 12 classrooms, library, cafeteria and kitchen.
District Supt. Jaime Green said additional closures are also anticipated at the Weaverville Elementary School campus as further testing is conducted, samples are processed in a lab and results revealed.
With the situation still evolving, Green said the district will publish all test results on its website as soon as they are available.
In the meantime, the district Board of Trustees has held several special meetings since the mold issue arose in June after school had let out for the summer. Another special meeting is scheduled for this Friday, July 12, in the Weaverville Elementary School gym to meet with contractors and develop a strategic plan. There will be a closed session at 5 p.m. followed by open session at 6 p.m.
Green said the district will need to secure and install at least 15 portable buildings in short order if students are to return to school by the scheduled opening date of Aug. 19. As of Monday morning, he had located six portables and was working on more along with the necessary plans to supply them with water and power.
“I am going full bore and will work 15 hours a day to be able to open by the first day of school. That is our goal, but we have to make sure it’s safe for our students and staff. Where there’s mold in the ceilings, the roof has to come off. It’s the same situation other schools in Hoopa and Hayfork have been dealing with,” he said, adding “we will be as transparent as possible once we know the full extent of the problem.”
Before this emergency, the district had approximately $1.5 million in reserve funds which Green said will be depleted quickly. Paperwork has been prepared to file a request for emergency funds through California’s Office of Public School Construction once all testing is completed and the full scope of required work has been identified.