DALLAS - Renovations at South Oak Cliff High School are scheduled to begin in January 2018. Workers are currently in the middle of renovations at Dallas Independent School District’s Village Fair campus, where the South Oak Cliff High School will temporarily operate for the next year and a half.
However, some parent have concerns about the transition plans.
“We want to know what’s going on,” said Pastor Maxie Johnson, President of the South Oak Cliff Parents Coalition.
Parents are beginning to ask questions, knowing more than 1,200 students will spend the next year and a half at the temporary building as contractors tackle $52-million worth of interior renovations at South Oak Cliff’s campus.
”We feel very comfortable that the kids will be able to function, similar to how they did at South Oak Cliff,” said Scott Layne, Dallas ISD’s Deputy Superintendent of Operations.
Layne says the Village Fair building is in excellent condition, as crews spend time preparing classrooms and other areas for the students and staff.
However, during a special community meeting in SOC’s auditorium, parents gathered to express some concerns and ask questions about logistics and timeline.
Johnson said, ”We’re hearing concerns that there is potential mold throughout that building.”
The school’s principal, Dr. W.F. Johnson, stood before the crowd confirming workers are treating mold in areas of Village Fair.
The principal told the crowd, "The bottom line is, we won’t be going in there if there’s a mold problem.”
That was a blow to some parents who complained students already had to deal with issues at SOC including leaking ceilings, mold, gas leaks, overheated classrooms, water quality concerns, and rodents over the past year.
Latoya Cole has a senior who attends the school. Cole said, "To still hear that they’re in transition and there are still issues going on where they are moving to, is kind of a let-down.”
The principal tried assuring parents Dallas ISD has a timeline for replacing some of the flooring and treating the mold matter. However, that did not make parents like Shara Vela feel too confident. Vela’s son is a freshman with asthma.
”Mold is not something that you mess with,” Vela explained. “That’s why I asked them, after you’ve done all of the renovations over there are they going to go thru and retest just to make sure.”
Parents say they will be asking the school district for a full environmental report concerning water and mold before staff and students move into their temporary building January 9.
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