Mice infestation at Knox County school has officials scurrying for a solution

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A mice infestation at Hardin Valley Elementary School has led district officials to implement pest control measures, including moving at least one class to a different part of the school.

WATE 6 reached out to Knox County Schools after a viewer shared photos taken inside the school that show a dead mouse on the floor and damaged cabinetry.

A district spokeswoman said pest control measures are now in place at the building located on 20 acres in Hardin Valley near Pellissippi Parkway in West Knoxville. What those measures are, and how effective they’ve been, was not released.

“In a district our size, pest control is a concern and tends to fluctuate with the seasons. We work with our staff and contractors to address issues as they arise and to eliminate environments that may be attractive to pests,” said Carly Harrington, chief of communication for Knox County Schools.

The viewer who took the photos said at least one class has been moved to a different part of the building due to the infestation that is allegedly caused, in part, by a shortage of janitorial staff.

“The district is considering a temporary solution that would leverage a supplemental service provider to help support our existing custodial staff,” Harrington said.

Hardin Valley Elementary is one of three schools considered to be overcrowded, according to school board member Betsy Henderson. After the construction of a new elementary school in northwest Knox County, some Hardin Valley students could be rezoned to the new school.

Hardin Valley Elementary opened its doors in August 2000. Currently, the 136,000 sq. ft. school is home to 4 administrators, 57 teachers and more than 1200 students, according to the district’s website.

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