ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Alamance-Burlington School System students will return to classes Monday on a three-hour delay after the district spent weeks clearing the schools of mold.

“Contractors assure us that our buildings will be clean and ready,” the school district said in its announcement. “… The delay allows teachers time to prepare rooms. We look forward to welcoming students back!”

The issue first surfaced when a summer cleaning crew discovered a mold infestation at Andrews Elementary School in July.

  • Andrews Elementary School battles mold infestation
  • Andrews Elementary School battles mold infestation

As the district fought to clean schools across the county, ABSS pushed the first day of school back to Monday to give the district time to get the issue under control. By the end of August, the district had discovered mold in “nearly 30 schools.” Out of those, toxigenic mold has been identified in 16 schools.

The district reports that remediation is in progress at the following schools as of Thursday:

  • Alexander Wilson Elementary
  • Altamahaw-Ossipee Elementary
  • B. Everett Jordan Elementary*
  • Broadview Middle*
  • Cummings High* 
  • Eastern Alamance High*
  • Eastlawn Elementary*
  • E.M. Holt Elementary*
  • E.M Yoder
  • Graham High* 
  • Graham Middle
  • Haw River Elementary*
  • Highland Elementary
  • Hillcrest Elementary
  • North Graham Elementary*
  • Pleasant Grove Elementary*
  • Ray Street Academy*
  • Smith Elementary
  • South Graham Elementary
  • Southern Alamance Middle
  • Southern Alamance High*
  • Sylvan Elementary*
  • Turrentine Middle
  • Williams High
  • Western Alamance High*
  • Western Alamance Middle
  • Woodlawn Middle*

Schools marked with an asterisk have identified toxigenic mold.

Schools already cleared include:

  • Alamance Virtual School
  • Alamance-Burlington Early College
  • Andrews Elementary
  • Elon Elementary
  • CTEC
  • Garrett Elementary
  • Grove Park Elementary
  • Hawfields Middle
  • Newlin Elementary
  • Southeast Alamance High
  • South Mebane Elementary

The type of toxigenic mold found is called “Chaetomium” which inspectors say is from “invasive water damage over time.” Clearing this kind of mold involves cleaning and removing sheetrock, furniture and building materials that are impacted.

Buildings are being cleaned with an antimicrobial cleaning solution based on industrial hygienist protocol, and the air is being filtered with high-efficiency particulate filters.

A third-party team of industrial hygienists has tested surfaces and the air quality. The district plans to post clearance certificates on the district’s website before Monday.