Everyone knows that termites often infest and damage houses, but very few people are aware of the fact that termite infestations have long been an issue within America’s schools. This may come as a surprise, as most modern schools are constructed with non-wood materials, such as concrete and brick. Despite this, termite infestations are so common within schools that the Environmental Protection Agency’s website describes the issue and how teachers and staff should properly inspect classrooms for signs of termite infestations. Although termite infestations occur occasionally within schools, one school in particular is faced with an infestation of massive and rare proportions. Veterans Memorial High School in Corpus Christi has been infested with termites ever since it was constructed only three years ago. Considering the failure to apply the customary termiticides and termite barriers within the school’s surrounding soil, termites wasted no time before infesting the building. Last April, the school district reluctantly voted in favor of spending 199,500 dollars on a program to have the school’s widespread termite infestation eradicated.
According to pest control professionals in the area, spending this much money on termite control efforts is nearly unheard of, and could have been easily prevented had the necessary and customary anti-termite barriers been installed around the school during its construction. In fact, one pest control professional claimed that merely having regular termite inspections conducted within the school could have saved the district more than 150,000 dollars. Avoiding the application of termite control barriers around the school was a bad idea, as Corpus Christi is located within one of the most termite-rich areas of the United States. The city is even home to the highly destructive invasive termite species known as the Formosan subterranean termite. Also, the 93 million dollar school was the most expensive school ever built during the time of its construction, but the school’s high price tag failed to motivate officials into applying the typical termite barriers that would have kept the building free from infestations. In some states, though not Texas, it is against the law to construct a home or building without simultaneously applying termite barriers around the property’s perimeter. Ironically, officials chose to abandon efforts to install termite barriers around the school in order to cut costs.
Have your tax dollars ever gone to termite control efforts or projects that aimed to remediate termite damage to public property?