Asbestos in Schools News for March 16th, 2009

In PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, a high school drama performance scheduled for March 7, 2009, was canceled after asbestos was discovered in the auditorium of Bristol Borough Junior-Senior High School.
There were no students attending classes due to the teacher work day on Friday, March 7, 2009, when the carcinogen was found. Teachers in the building were moved to Warren Snyder-John Girotti Elementary School nearby to complete their scheduled professional development activities.

Superintendent Broadus Davis Jr. decided to side with precaution and cancel all performances of “Seussical the Musical” for Friday, March 7, through Sunday, March 9. A decision on the following weekend’s performances of the play depended upon the results of the air quality tests conducted on the auditorium that were to be returned to the superintendent by Sunday, March 9, 2009, at the latest.

In KETTERING, OHIO, Alter High School scheduled a fund raising campaign called “Answering the Call” in order to raise money to pay for construction and renovations amounting to $15 million.

Improvements planned in the construction for the school were a new performing arts center, new science labs, a new chapel, and enhancements to the athletic and technology facilities. The funds raised from “Answering the Call” would help the school to keep from going into debt as it updated its facilities in the spring 2009.

Before renovations of the first-floor classrooms begins, the school would need to remove the asbestos present in the classrooms, labs, chapel, and cafeteria. The costs of asbestos abatement were included in the $15-million renovation price tag.

In CLINTON, NORTH CAROLINA, employees working in the administration building for the Sampson County Schools were still present during an asbestos abatement project.

The crew that removed the asbestos was certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), according to superintendent Ethan Lenker.

An employee of the building said that he saw air quality testers pass by him while he was working, but the employee assumed that everything was safe since all of the asbestos abatement activities were held behind an area sealed off with black plastic, but he did not know if air flowing around the ceiling through the building was sealed off.

Exposure to asbestos has been linked to cause cancer, but the disease can take decades to develop before any signs of illness manifest. Those working at the Sampson County Schools administration building might not be aware of the potential danger they were in during the asbestos abatement. There was no report of the air quality testing findings.