FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas -- Fort Bend ISD plans to reopen Willowridge High School after the upcoming winter break, the school district announced Friday.
Earlier this year, workers discovered mold covering 90 percent of the school while the building was closed for summer break, administrators said.
At the time, cleaning was estimated to cost at least $7 million, money that would come from the district’s “rainy day” fund, according to administrators. It was hoped the school would reopen by mid-September, but the district now says there were minor setbacks, including Hurricane Harvey.
Crews recently determined that additional HVAC work is also needed, "changing the original scope of work," the district said Friday.
"Earlier this month, crews completed the mold-remediation process and work is now underway to replace the flooring, ceiling tiles and drywall. Following the remediation work, a contractor conducted an inspection on the HVAC system to determine what may have contributed to the increased humidity over the summer when the mold growth began. During this inspection, they found that the chillers were not functioning at full capacity, and at least three need to be replaced. Given the extent of the work that is needed, and the slight delay during Hurricane Harvey, the completion timeframe also changed."
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“I am disappointed that the reopening of Willowridge will be delayed, but I am excited about the improvements our students and staff will enjoy when they return,” said Dr. Charles Dupre, Fort Bend ISD Superintendent of Schools.
Dupre says the building and its floor plan will remain the same, but when the campus welcomes students back in January they will have new flooring, paint, furniture and and HVAC system.
To celebrate the re-opening of the school and to say “thank you” to the community for their ongoing support, District and school administrators will plan a community ribbon-cutting ceremony that will feature the Mighty Eagle Band, cheerleaders, dance team and more. Plans for the ceremony will be announced at a later date.