Asbestos in Schools News for December 16th, 2008

In HAMILTON, CANADA, students at George R Allen elementary school were sent home for a day following the discovery of asbestos in the building. Students returned to the school the following Monday. As the heating system is being renovated in the school, construction crews have had to drill into the ceilings of some of the classrooms. During a Ministry of Labor check of the area, asbestos was found in some of the ceiling tiles, and air quality tests showed low asbestos levels. Testing on the boiler room ceiling is also being done to determine if the tiles that were drilled into there contained asbestos. Since that the drilling occurred weeks before the air quality testing, many parents expressed concerns in a meeting with the school board; however, some parents stated they were also pleased that the school decided to close when the air quality tests did reveal asbestos.

In MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA, the Hilldale Asbestos Management Plan was made available on November 5, 2008, for parents, students, and employees of Hilldale Public Schools. This is in compliance with the Asbestos Emergency Response Act. Interested parties can get copies from the administration office or principal of the individual schools. The only concerning area in the district is a tiny space of floor. Testing shows that the asbestos in it is not hazardous.

In NILES, INDIANA, students were able to return to school when an asbestos abatement at Gemini Junior High finished ahead of schedule. The school was reopened November 5, about a week earlier than originally anticipated. Abatement began shortly after asbestos was discovered on September 13, 2008, in the glue holding down the carpeting. The carpeting had to be removed because of the major floods that affected the area last summer. The asbestos has been cleared from the area, and air quality tests show no asbestos in the air. When the students returned to their school, they were given class schedules and their old lock combinations to help to transition them back into their old routines. A letter will be placed in the files of graduating eighth graders to explain any academic impact the temporary relocation of Gemini Junior High students caused. While the asbestos abatement was taking place, students attended classes in other district buildings, including temporary classrooms set up in gymnasiums.