State approves funding for Trinity County school construction plans to rid campuses of mold infestation

Senator McGuire helps to lead the charge with local Superintendents to advance desperately needed dollars to rid schools of mold

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Sacramento, CA – Last week, Senator Mike McGuire testified in front of the State Allocations Board in support of state funding for construction plans for improvements to Trinity County schools that have been infested by mold, threatening the health and safety of students. The State Allocation Board approved hardship appeals to the impacted school districts to begin the design process to upgrade their campuses into safe and modern learning environments.

“Both Burnt Ranch Elementary and Mountain Valley Unified have been devastated by mold infestations displacing students and teachers and it is critical that funding is advanced to allow the schools to focus on educating our kids in a safe and healthy environment,” Senator McGuire said. “These school facility projects will not only rebuild the shuttered buildings, but will also rebuild the heart of these communities.”

The State Allocation Board approved funding for facility improvements to Burnt Ranch Elementary School District and Mountain Valley Unified School District’s Hayfork High School and Hayfork Elementary School. The decision provided approval of the districts’ facility hardship requests allowing the districts to move forward with design, and then request full funding in the coming months. Full funding would provide over $20 million to the school districts to upgrade school sites.

Senator McGuire met with MVUSD Superintendent Debbie Miller and Burnt Ranch Superintendent Kathleen Graham earlier this year about the conditions of their schools. Together, all three appealed to the State Allocations Board to advance these necessary projects last week.

“Our community was devastated by the closure of Burnt Ranch Elementary Schools facilities. Our school is the heart-beat of our community and is also our primary community space,” said Burnt Ranch Superintendent Kathleen Graham. “We were pleased to work with Senator McGuire to secure this allocation and are excited to move forward with the state to provide a safe learning environment.”

“Without this important funding our district would not be able to begin to cover the costs of construction for these health and safety projects,” said MVUSD Superintendent Debbie Miller. “We are grateful for the collaboration with the Office of Public School Financing, the State Allocation Board and Senator McGuire. These projects will allow us to continue to meet our mission of educating students in the Hayfork valley and surrounding communities.”

Both Superintendent Graham and Superintendent Miller testified with Senator McGuire at the meeting of the State Allocations Board in Sacramento last week.

“This has been a team approach and I have been grateful to work with Superintendent Miller and Graham to get these funds moved into the community. I think that I can speak for all three of us and say that we are incredibly thankful to the State Allocations Board for their support of these important projects,” Senator McGuire said.

In March of this year, Burnt Ranch Elementary was inspected and testing revealed high levels of mold due to water intrusion from the roof in all structures, causing a health and safety issue. All of the buildings were closed and currently students and staff are in portable classrooms and restrooms.

In February and May of this year, testing at Mountain Valley Unified School District revealed mold and fungal contamination at Hayfork Elementary and High School sites from the failing roof and the buildings were closed immediately.