Trailer maintenance failures cause educational disruption


This is social studies Dana Hilliard’s bathroom after the toilet overflowed. It has been cleaned by the county.

The main building of Northwest High School was built in the 1962 to house a maximum of 750 students.

Today, with an enrollment of 2,119, the space has become limited. While the New Building, constructed in 2002, helped reduce the number of mobiles from 52 to 25, the mobiles have outlasted the time that they were meant for.

“These trailers are really past their prime,” social studies teacher Dana Hilliard said.

The mobiles have experienced a lot throughout the years– including having rodents, rotting wood, overflowing toilets, soaked carpet, damaged air conditioning units and more.

Hilliard recently had her toilet overflow as a result of some of the pipes being worked on.

“The janitors were great–they came out immediately and sucked it up as best as they could, and the administrators did get the county to come out and clean it, but they only cleaned where the water was,” Hilliard said.

In addition, social studies teacher Greg Shue had trouble with the air conditioning unit and now has trouble with the heating system.

“The heat does not work,” Shue said. “I know that the administration has put in at least three work orders spanning maybe three weeks.”

With the conditions that the trailers are in, it can make the learning and teaching environment less productive in the educational aspect.

“It’s hard to learn when you’re cold,” Shue said.

Furthermore, North Carolina’s weather combined with the overflowing of toilets that end up soaking the carpets in water can lead to complications like mold or the rotting of wood.

“We actually had cases of mold this summer–I’m not the only trailer that had mold, so I don’t know if it had to do with the conditions of the trailer or just depending on North Carolina and how humid it gets,” social studies teacher William Satterfield said.

Although there is not enough money for the county to replace the mobiles entirely, there are certain changes that could help improve the conditions of the mobiles. For example, the carpets could be replaced or the wood for the flooring and structure of the trailers could be changed.

“I really think that they could just redo the flooring–that would go a long way,” Hilliard said.