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Mold found inside Clark Springs, pushing back potential move-in date for Fox students

Mold found inside Clark Springs, pushing back potential move-in date for Fox students
Posted at 4:35 PM, Mar 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-26 11:35:40-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The discovery of mold inside Clark Springs Elementary School will push back the date William Fox Elementary School families can move into the school.

The Fox community was originally scheduled to move into the school on April 19.

Katie Ricard stuffed her car Friday with books that people had donated to Our Lady of Lourdes to give to Fox after a fire destroyed the school. However, Ricard said that so many people donated books that she is now taking them to other Richmond elementary schools.

The Fox PTA president and parent of two Fox students said she is thankful her kids and others are back in person at First Baptist Church. However, she emphasized that the location is only temporary.

"These are Sunday school classrooms, they are not elementary school classrooms. So I know for the teachers, it has taken a lot to figure out how to make the space work for them," Ricard said.

She is hopeful the kids can get into Clark Springs Elementary as soon as possible.

An announcement made by RPS Superintendent Jason Kamras on Thursday night will likely adjust that timeline.

"The big update is that we did get the mold and asbestos report back and yes, there is some mold and asbestos, and so we are going to begin the remediation process. The implication of that is it will likely push our ready date beyond April 19," Kamras said.

RPS spokeswoman Sarah Abubaker said the asbestos is safe as long as it's not disturbed so they do not need abatement at this time. However, the mold mitigation will push back the move-in date.

Another concern is that there is currently no aftercare for Fox families right now because First Baptist runs their own afternoon programs.

"Right now, they're having to leave work to get their kids relying on family members pulling together a neighborhood network. It's been really challenging," Ricard said.

School Board Member Mariah White, who represents the second district where Fox is located, said she is working on a solution. As of Thursday night, Kamras said nothing is in stone.

"Not yet, it is still a work in progress, we are trying to make it happen, but I don't have anything concrete tonight to share," Kamras said.

As for when the rebuild can begin at Fox? That process cannot start until the Fire Marshall finishes his investigation.

"Chief Carter suggested to me that will probably be next week and after that point, it will be under the purview of the city and that's the standard process for these kinds of things," Kamras said.

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