Willowridge High School start date delayed by mold cleanup

HOUSTON -- Willowridge High School will not be open in time for the start of the school year, as the cleanup efforts to remove mold from the campus buildings have taken longer than expected.

School officials said mold was discovered earlier this summer during scheduled construction work on campus.

"We're disappointed we're not going to be able to start school at Willowridge High School. But from the beginning, we've said that we are not going to open that school until it is safe, sanitized and ready for the students and staff," said Fort Bend ISD spokesperson Amanda Bubela.

Less than three weeks away from the first day of classes and students are still waiting to hear where they'll go to school in the meantime.

Bubela said the school district is working to find an alternative location.

 

For students like Juan Carlos Vital, going to a different school his senior year, just wasn't part of the plan.

"I'm frustrated because I didn't expect this. Think about it like this, I've been here for four years. My brother and my sister both went there. It's going to be weird going to another school where I don't know any of the people or anything," Vital said.

Other students who currently walk to Willowridge said finding a ride to a school farther away might be problematic.

"I'd either have to take the bus or my mother would have to drive me. Some of my friends might have a harder time, not all of them have money to pay for gas or can drive, and some of their parents are already working in the morning," sophomore Cesar Pineda said.

At this point, school officials said there's no timeline on when the cleanup efforts to remove the mold will be finished.

"It's pretty widespread. I would say majority the building has been impacted by the mold in some way. And the remediation, that's an extensive effort. They're going to be replacing all of the flooring, they're sanitizing surfaces, they're going to be replacing items that were located inside classrooms, furniture and ceiling tiles," Bubela said.

More details will be announced within the next week. Until then, school officials are asking parents and students to be patient.

Classes for Fort Bend ISD begin August 22.

School officials add that Willowridge staff members have not returned to campus. Employees been working at Marshall High School over the last few weeks.

Bubela said the cleanup efforts to get rid of the mold has cost approximately $2-million so far.