Commission approves funding to repair mold-infested Westhaven - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Commission approves funding needed to repair mold-infested school

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After 20 years of requesting school repairs, Westhaven Elementary School students will no longer be educated in a building with asbestos problems, moldy pipes and holes in the ceiling. After 20 years of requesting school repairs, Westhaven Elementary School students will no longer be educated in a building with asbestos problems, moldy pipes and holes in the ceiling.
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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC) - Shelby County Commission recently approved the funding needed to repair Westhaven Elementary School.

Last Wednesday, SCS Superintendent Dorsey Hopson asked the commission for the funding to repair the school that has holes in the ceilings, moldy pipes, and asbestos in the floors and walls.

Now, in a victory for students and staff, the Shelby County Commission approved millions not only to rebuild Westhaven Elementary, but to also give to suburban schools.

More than one dozen schools are included in the $52.2 million budget. The two-hour meeting was a nail biter, as commissioners went back and forth on how to fund school construction.

Westhaven PTO President Bridget Bradley said she could barely contain her emotions when the vote came down.

"I'm just really thankful and I'm so happy for our children. That's most important," said Bradley. "I didn't want to scream, but I wanted to scream.  I was so happy."

Commissioners struggled on the budget breakdown. Commissioner Ritz said a compromise would be to add another $4.8 million to the proposed $47.4 million budget for construction at the six suburban schools that are leaving the district in August.

Commissioner Heidi Shafer suggested a two-month delay on a Germantown High School construction project to stay within the budget.

"It allows us to do all the things we want to do and still stay within our debt reduction plan," said Shafer.

The commissioners debated on and on.

"I don't see hair-cutting Shelby County Schools to help the suburbs. I'm not going to be a party to that," said Commissioner Mike Ritz

In the end, the commission voted to fund all the schools.

"I think this was in the spirit of collaboration, detailed analysis and a good result for kids," noted Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson.

After 20 years of requesting school repairs, Westhaven Elementary School students will no longer be educated in a building with asbestos problems, moldy pipes, and holes in the ceiling.

"Our kids are going to have a great place to be educated in, a safe place," added Bradley.

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