Representative John Bell and Representative Raymond Smith Jr. met with school district leaders on Friday, March 11th and toured Goldsboro High School to see firsthand concerns raised by three students Monday evening at a Goldsboro City Council meeting. Smith attended GHS and was a member of the Class of 1979.
“I sincerely appreciate the advocacy that the three students demonstrated in the support of their school,” states Dr. David Lewis, superintendent. “As soon as we learned Tuesday about the students’ concerns, we immediately began researching work orders and talking with school and maintenance leaders to determine what efforts may be needed, or may already be in progress, to address issues that were raised.”
Representatives Bell and Smith were joined by some members of the Wayne County Board of Education (Chair Don Christopher West, Vice-Chair Patricia Burden, & At-Large Tommy Sanders), Superintendent Lewis, District Leadership Team members, and the maintenance director.
“We appreciate the time our local delegates took out of their day to meet with us, and we worked to be open and transparent about the school’s needs,” states Dr. Lewis. “We walked them into a number of classrooms where floor tiles were damaged from moisture caused by older window air units. We explained what temporary steps had been taken, such as the cleaning and removal of the debris and ongoing monitoring by custodians. We also showed what more meaningful steps the district began taking this week after we heard the students voice their concerns, which included the replacement of the tiles.”
The district determined that most concerns raised by students occurred in the original 1926 building. Work order reports reflect that roof leaks photographed in February had been repaired on March 1 by Wayne Roofing. Because there are roof flashing issues that still need to be addressed along exterior walls, district staff have determined that a full assessment of the roof needs to occur to determine if further repairs are practical, or if a full replacement may be needed. The current roof was installed some 19 years ago.
This past December, members of the WCPS Maintenance Department and a local paint company met at Goldsboro High to determine if a long-term solution could be found to address peeling paint in stairwells and other areas. While the entire building was painted in 2016, it has been determined that moisture issues have contributed to the peeling of paint in these areas.
“As a part of the walk-through we shared that a significant amount of ESSER Funds has been allocated to address environmental and air quality concerns in schools around our district,” adds Dr. Lewis. “In January the Board of Education approved an architect to develop a full scope of work for major renovations to Goldsboro High projects. We look forward to getting that scope of work soon as the first step towards addressing some of the school’s more pressing needs.”
The district did review pest management logs, and was unable to determine any significant issues with pests being reported over the past two years. The district is working with its contracted pest management company to investigate and address, as needed, any concerns.
Following the walk-through, Representative Bell, Representative Smith, WCPS Superintendent Lewis, and GHS Principal Nelson, were able to meet with two of the three students who spoke Monday night to thank them for their advocacy of their school and to make sure that they knew their voices had been heard.