In an emergency called meeting of the Craven County Board of Education on Thursday, an appropriation of $3.5 million was approved for damage repairs, school climate stabilization, and restoration and remediation services for our schools.
Superintendent Meghan Doyle said that this expenditure will not cover the full damages of Hurricane Florence to Craven County Schools.
“We continue to make progress and are happy to say that we are beginning the transition back to school,” the district said in a news release.
Craven County Schools has completed the process of testing air quality samples at all 23 of its school sites by an external industrial hygienist. Based on the results, six school sites are cleared for students and staff to safely return to campus on Monday, Oct. 8. The schools are:
- Ben D. Quinn Elementary
- Bridgeton Elementary
- Grover C. Fields Middle
- New Bern High (except Vocational Area)
- Vanceboro Farm Life Elementary
- West Craven High
Based on the air quality reports, nine schools have been partially cleared and once these buildings are restored and cleaned thoroughly they will be re-tested again. They are:
- AH Bangert Elementary
- Brinson Memorial Elementary
- Creekside Elementary
- Havelock Middle (ECE Wing has been cleared)
- HJ MacDonald Middle
- JT Barber Elementary
- Oaks Road Academy
- Trent Park Elementary
- W.J. Gurganus Elementary
Once the air quality samples are reviewed and safely cleared, these campuses will be released for school to start back. Crews will be working throughout the weekend to remediate the impacted areas be prepared for future announcements for these sites
Eight other school sites have not been cleared and will need remediation by external companies contracted to complete the work in an effective and efficient manner. Funds for this work will come from the Board of Education fund balance appropriation made at Thursday’s meeting. The schools requiring greater detail to be cleared to safely return back to school are:
- Arthur W. Edwards Elementary
- Graham A. Barden Elementary
- Havelock Elementary
- Havelock High
- James W. Smith Elementary
- Roger Bell New Tech Academy
- Tucker Creek Middle
- West Craven Middle
“We appreciate the patience and understanding our school families and the community as we anxiously work to get our facilities at a safe level for all to return,” the district said in the news release.
“Craven County has never experienced a storm of this magnitude and while the structural damage to our facilities does not appear to be great on the outside, the length of power outages at each site combined with moisture and humidity is a direct correlation to the air quality on the inside.”
The tentative goal date for all facilities to be operational is Monday, Oct. 15.