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Parent concerned over city school ceiling leaking ‘nasty’ stuff

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--CBS 6 obtained a number of photos showing buckets in several classrooms at Fairfield Court Elementary, placed to collect what's leaking from the ceiling inside that East End school.

“'Basically, he says it`s nasty,” said Lakecha Lewis.

Lewis says she received a call Monday from her son's teacher, telling Lewis that he had been sitting right underneath that leak.

Now, Lewis says she's worried.

“My son has asthma and we don`t know what this stuff is leaking.  It`s just dripping down.  It could be hazardous to his health. It could spark up problems with his lungs or anything,” said Lewis.

Lewis claims she has been told the ceiling has been leaking since February.

She says she complained to school leaders, but Lewis feels like she’s gotten the run around.

"It's not right,” said Lewis.  “And I feel as though if this was an affluent neighborhood, they would've fixed it.  No problem."

We tracked down Richmond Public School’s Chief Operating officer, Andy Hawkins to get some answers.

"We don't want this to happen.  But when you have as many schools, old schools as we have, we’re going to have this happen,” said Andy Hawkins, RPS, Chief Operating Officer.

Hawkins says RPS had been notified about the leaks two weeks ago.  And contractors have been trying to find the source to repair it.

CBS 6 asked if the school is a safe environment for students.

"We've had the building tested.  The liquid that was tested also by an independent contractor and all of those tests have come back negative,” said Hawkins.  “So, students aren’t at any health risk.”

But Lewis says she'll take matters into her own hands if the problem isn't resolved.

"I will pull him out and I will talk to other parents and see what they're going to do about this,” said Lewis.

Felicia Cosby with RPS says the repairs at Fairfield Court Elementary school have been completed.  And students were moved to the cafeteria while contractors made those repairs.

School leaders say they just finished repairs at Thompson Middle school for the same problem.