Veterans Memorial High School was built three years ago.
KRIS 6 News has found that the Corpus Christi Independent School District paid Elite Exterminating nearly $200,000 to get rid of the termites on campus this summer.
This afternoon, we spoke to the manager of that pest control company, Debbie Aguirre.
She says that after living in South Texas, it was alarming to her that no pre-treatment for termites was done during the construction phase at VMHS.
She also said her company had to do “serious damage control” to fix the problem when they were hired three years after the school was built.
She says a large portion of the building was infested with termites. And she added her crew was given a very small window of time this summer to complete the project.
Based on numbers provided by pest control experts, it would have been far cheaper if CCISD had paid for the termite treatment while Veterans Memorial was being built.
Those exterminators say pre-treatment costs about 22 cents per square foot. Also, the foundation is the only part of the building that needs to be treated.
Using those numbers, we found it would cost about $36,520 to treat the high school before it opened. Compare that to the nearly $200,000 bill, and it’s easy to see why some parents are concerned.
“Keep the kids safe. It’s a brand new building. Let’s take care of it,” parent Linda Sifuentes said. “Let’s not let it get rundown like everything else around here.”
Another parent expressed similar fears.
“It’s common sense to take care of the problem before the building goes up,” she said. “It should have been treated because they really destroy wood and it’s going to cost more in the long run to make any repairs. It should have been done in the beginning.So, someone is responsible for that.”
This afternoon, CCISD confirmed pre-treatment for termites at Veterans Memorial was part of the original plan, but it was then done away with to cut costs. At $93 million, Veterans was the most expensive school ever constructed in Corpus Christi history at that time.
We’re told in the future that buildings constructed in the district will now include a termite shield under the foundation.