MARLBORO COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - There are allegations of mold inside Bennettsville Intermediate School classrooms and cafeteria kitchen.
Lucy Parsons, the Marlboro County School District chairwoman, said the school district asked an environmental engineer to come to Bennettsville Intermediate School and do an inspection.
The report came back negative for any kind of mold and the engineer instead reported back to the school district a list of recommendations to keep up better maintenance work.
"I think people should be happy that we got facts from a highly qualified scientist and that he assured us this is a safe building for people to be in. I hope everything we do, we base it on facts, and people who have no training at all are refuting what he said, and that makes no sense to me," Parsons said.
For a week, the Servpro cleaning crews have been at the school and Parsons said the school district is following those recommendations, such as air duct work cleaning, ceiling work, and deep cleaning and waxing on the floors and surfaces throughout the entire school.
Parsons said during a school board meeting, she heard people's complaints that they believe stemmed from the so-called mold.
"One person got bronchitis three times in a year. Well, many people get bronchitis multiple times in a year. People have allergies all over the country, they have allergies and many people have inhalers, but that isn't the schools fault," Parsons said.
The responsibility does lie on the school district to keep up with the old age of the school.
"You don't maintain what you have and what the parents have worked hard to pay for, and just not take care of it and then go and get a new one," Parsons said. "This community does not have the money to tear down schools and build new ones in lieu of maintenance."
The engineer recommended intense cleaning and air quality work to be done during summer school hours. It must be finished before the school is full again in three weeks.
The most important thing to Parson is the children's safety.
"That's the reason to clean and maintain this school and every school we have in the district," she said.
Parsons said next at Bennettsville Intermediate are the non-maintenance projects like repairing the old roof, improving the drainage, and continually keeping it safe and clean so larger issues don't come up.