Asbestos in Schools News for February 11th, 2009

In SIKESTON, MO, Midwest Environmental Studies of Cape Girardeau was awarded the bid to remove the asbestos for the renovation of the C building of Sikeston High School.
If the district can appropriate the needed $123,000, the work to remove and dispose of the asbestos will begin in March 2009. Asbestos to be removed from the building includes 17,400 square feet of asbestos ceiling texture and hard plaster, 18,000 square feet of asbestos floor tile and sealant (two layers), and thermal insulation. The Sikeston R-6 Board of Education awarded the approved Midwest Environmental Studies of Cape Girardeau’s bid for the project in a 4-2 vote. The approval is pending the availability of funds for the project. In FITCHBURG, MA, the city received the results of a report concerning the asbestos at South Side Elementary on January 16, 2009, but what information was included in the Department of Occupational Safety’s report was not made public. According to Superintendent Andre Ravenelle, the report mainly consisted of “paperwork” and not information on the air quality tests done at the school after the discovery or the response of the school district to the incident.

“The report is a lot about paperwork and expectations about how things should be done,” Ravenelle said. More information in the report will be divulged to the public after Superintendent Ravenelle has had a chance to discuss the results with health officials and school principals. In December of 2008, asbestos was discovered by a maintenance worker in the South Side Elementary gym. Air quality tests returned clean, but the gym remains closed until health officials give the green light to reopen it. An official with the Department of Occupational Safety could neither confirm nor deny that a report on South Side Elementary had been given to the city of Fitchburg.