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Despite infrastructure problems, Clark Springs given all-clear for Fox students

Fox family Clark Springs 02.png
Posted at 10:19 PM, Apr 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-20 23:28:35-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- A handful of Richmond School board members got a first-hand tour of what the new home for Fox Elementary students will be like for the next two years.

Former Clark Springs Elementary will be the new school for students after a massive fire in February destroyed Fox Elementary. Students have since been learning at a nearby church.

Richmond Public Schools Board closed Clark Springs for being under capacity in 2013. Recently, RPS discovered mold inside the empty school.

As of Wednesday, school officials and inspectors said the major renovations are complete and are ready for teachers and students to move in.

“All the areas of concern have been addressed and mediated,” said Dana Fox, RPS' Director of Construction.

The district invested $800,000 in repairs, including upgrades to water fountains, doors, network access points, ceiling tiles, furniture, dividers and more.

They also had inspectors confirm that mold is no longer an issue in previously known areas. However, they are treating and retesting a new space that had a small presence.

The district also said they installed and have inspected a new fire panel.

However, just because the building is ready per inspectors, doesn’t mean it’s out of the clear for future problems.

"I don’t want to delusion anyone. The roof is in very bad shape,” said Fox.

Fox said they have patched up any current issues, but she said officials are finding water is going to other places, saying that it’s likely there will be leaks that arise.  She said it’s taken $900 per trip to patch anything up.

She estimates a full replacement of the roof would take nearly $1.5 million.

“My hope is we make it to summer and maybe we can discuss putting on a new roof,” she said.

For now, the school is one step closer to giving Fox students a temporary home. The school board will vote on Monday to decide when students will move in.

“I think our children will love this building,” said Mariah White, an RPS School Board Member.

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