The Fort Bend ISD board of trustees has approved a project to remediate nonairborne mold as well as renovate and update facilities at Barrington Place Elementary School.

During a July 25 meeting, the board voted 7-0 to approve $7.3 million worth of work, which will span the entire 2022-23 school year, according to school officials.

District officials announced the mold was discovered in the chilled water piping located above the ceiling during a routine facilities assessment in late June. The insulation surrounding the chilled water piping had deteriorated with age, allowing moisture to enter the material and creating conditions suitable for mold growth.

“While it doesn't present an immediate health hazard, we took a very proactive approach,” FBISD Superintendent Christie Whitbeck said during the July 25 meeting. “I really want to stop and thank our facilities department, our custodians, the people who are boots on the ground who are helping with these day-to-day issues.”

Of the $7.3 million project, between $1.5 million-$2 million will be spent on mold remediation, according to board discussion. The remainder will be spent on architectural services, demolition, new wall systems with proper sound insulation between classrooms, new flooring throughout the building and interior LED lighting upgrades, according to agenda documents. The funding will come from contingency funds from the district's 2018 bond program.

During the life of the project, Barrington Place Elementary students and staff will be hosted at other campuses during the 2022-23 school year. Students in prekindergarten and early childhood special education programs will attend Sugar Mills Elementary; students in kindergarten through second grade will attend Meadows Elementary; and students in third through fifth grade will attend Lakeview Elementary.

Board members, including Position 1 Board Member Angie Hanan, asked FBISD administration to both be mindful about the hosting schools and to recognize that the Barrington Place staff members may require additional support during the 2022-23 school year.

Other board members expressed optimism about where Barrington Place Elementary will land once the project is completed.

“The community at Barrington Place has really come together, and I look forward to great positive things from Barrington Place, especially in the future when we get these repairs and renovations done,” Position 3 Board Member Rick Garcia said.