A local mayor and town council have weighed in on the conditions of the Field House at Smithfield Selma High School.
In a letter to Larry Strickland, Chairman of the Johnston County Board of Education, Smithfield Mayor Andy Moore on behalf of the Smithfield Town Council, has asked that if mold is found, the building should be demolished and a new Field House built in its place.
Letter from Smithfield Mayor Andy Moore to Larry Strickland, Chairman of the Johnston County Board of Education
“The students and athletes that attend and visit Smithfield Selma High School deserve facilities that do not endanger their health and safety,” Mayor Moore wrote.
Mark Lee, a parent of a varsity baseball player at SSS showed photos of the Field House to members of the town council on March 1st. The photos Lee show presently reportedly shows suspected mold growing on the ceilings and walls.
School officials said they are in the process of testing the building for mold and soliciting bids for a new roof and other repairs.
“The photographic documentation provided by Mr. Lee saddened and embarrassed this entire governing body, as it should the entire Johnston County School Board,” Mayor Moore wrote. “Our children deserve more. All students in Johnston County deserve the same types of facilities.”
Lee said other schools like Corinth Holders High, West Johnston High and Cleveland High have similar buildings they can be proud of. The SSS Field House, Lee said was shameful.
“Our goals should be the same,” Mayor Moore said in the letter, “ensuring that our children are able to attend schools where they feel safe and in an environment where their health is not compromised due to neglect, deteriorating facilities or lack of funding.”
In a press release last week from the Board of Education, Johnston County Schools new Superintendent Dr. Ross Renfrow admitted poor facility conditions at SSS should have never happened. “We are sad this has occurred and acknowledge that it should not have.”
“At no time will students be placed in harm’s way while we are in the process of correcting the issue at the Field House and are working diligently to bring this facility up to standard,” Dr. Renfrow added.