Mike Mitchell mows moldy modulars
Wrecking crews will finish tearing down mold-infested portable buildings at Bordewich-Bray Elementary School today.
“I’m glad to see them go, but it’s kind of a mixed emotion,” said Mike Mitchell, director of operations for the school district. “You hate to be forced into something like this. You’d rather be able to plan it.”
After all possible equipment from inside the buildings was salvaged, crews began demolishing the five buildings Thursday and will continue today.
Mitchell said it was a relief to see the buildings go after 12 years of difficult maintenance and other problems.
“The money side of it is obviously unsettling,” he said. “But I’m excited about the opportunity to have a better building and a safer campus.”
But for the school’s alumni, it was a nostalgic sorrow to see their music classroom, library and other classrooms go.
“I think it’s pretty sad that they had to do this,” said Caitlin Hanson, 12, who will be an eighth-grader next year at Carson Middle School. “The library was really nice. It was a really nice school, everybody liked it.”
School officials are hoping, however, that the destruction of the modulars will open the way to an even nicer school.
They are asking voters to pass a $3.75 million bond issue in November’s elections to build a permanent addition to the Bordewich building, eliminating the need for students to travel across the campus to attend classes.
Caitlin supports consolidating the seven-building campus into one large school.
“That way, you won’t have to worry about crossing the way,” she said. “It will all be in one area. There were always lots of kids trying to squeeze through the doors to get outside.”
Mitchell said he remains “cautiously optimistic” that voters will agree with Caitlin.
“I think people understand this is totally out of our control,” he said. “We need to do this but we can’t fund it from our existing operating budget. We need help from the taxpayers.”
In the interim, the school district plans to rent space from the Brewery Arts Center for additional classes and lease two portable buildings.
Three forms of toxic mold were discovered lurking inside the walls of the five modular buildings in late November after speech therapist Cheryl Euse reported a foul smell.
Bordewich Elementary School is 62 years old and has served as both Carson Junior High and Carson High School.
The proposed bond would not raise taxes.