Board to discuss solutions to displaced students |

Board to discuss solutions to displaced students

by Teri Vance, Appeal Staff Writer

Borderwich-Bray Elementary School Student Gloria Talavera peeks out from the music room next to one of the portable rooms which have been evacuated for mold contamination. photo by Rick Gunn

For nearly two months, Charis Marrin and Jeanette Blanco have been teaching their foreign language speaking students English in a sectioned-off space of the teachers workroom of Bordewich-Bray Elementary School.

Students meet for speech therapy in a storage closet, and the autistic class meets in a renovated garage.

Displaced because of mold discovered in the portable buildings where the classes were originally held, teachers are struggling to make their programs fit in small spaces.

Yet they remain hopeful their struggles will be rewarded.

“We’re much happier being out of the moldy buildings,” Marrin said. “We’re looking forward to a new building — hopefully, the voters will go for it.”

The Carson City School Board will seek a $3.7 million bond in November’s election to build a permanent addition, eliminating the need for portable classrooms and consolidating the seven-building campus into one school.

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But things will probably get worse before they get better.

Director of Operations Mike Mitchell will ask the board tonight to allow him to use $300,000 in contingency funds to remove the five moldy modulars and shuffle programs to accommodate the lost space.

“We did not anticipate this mold,” he said. “I did not plan for this in our operating budget.”

A portion of the money will be used to either buy or lease three portable buildings to house some special education and other programs until a permanent solution is found.

However, Mitchell said the fully contained third- and fourth-grade special education classes will likely be moved temporarily to Fritsch Elementary School.

Other programs will be relocated to the Gleason Complex across the street.

“It wouldn’t be the best situation but it certainly might work for us in the interim,” Mitchell said.

He has also talked with officials from the Brewery Arts Center about relocating the school’s library in the basement of the former St. Teresa Church, which the center now owns.

“No formal agreements have been made, but it makes the most sense,” he said.

The modulars are set to be removed this summer after they were determined in November to be infested with three types of toxic mold.

Blanco said she acquired asthma last year and thinks it may be because of the mold. Other teachers have also reported various respiratory illnesses.

If you go

What: Carson City School Board Meeting

When: 7 tonight

Where: Sierra Room of Community Center