In order to raise funds to replace a floor in an asbestos-contaminated gymnasium, a North Central Illinois school is being uniquely self-reliant.
The Holy Family School in Peru, Illinois will host a country music concert, with performances by its own students. The proceeds from the show at the Cedar Point Sportsman Club will be used towards renovating the Holy Family School’s gym. The show will be called “Concerts for a Cause” and will feature performances by country bands like Little Big Town and Zac Brown Band.
The floor, at its current point, is shedding wax and paint, which is hazardous for several reasons. Parents and school officials are mostly concerned with the floors’ potential asbestos exposure.
Principal Jasiek said, “We had contacted several companies about the gym floor. It was becoming increasingly dangerous.”
When the old floor is ripped up, the asbestos tile will be exposed. Asbestos, a mineral which was once used as an additive to concrete and other materials for insulating purposes, is highly toxic and carcinogenic when its microscopic fibers are released into the air. Without proper safety precautions and removal procedures, people can breathe in these fibers and risk contracting a disease such as pleural disease or mesothelioma. Mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer that affects the soft tissues protecting some bodily organs, is currently considered incurable.
If the school was to undergo asbestos abatement, it would not be financially capable of finishing the project. Instead, the school has decided to lay the new floor on top of the old one.
If all the proper and lawful safety procedures are followed, asbestos exposure is small.
The committee that organized “Concerts for a Cause” solidified their decision when they visited the school twice on Tuesday. Merry Noonan, co-owner of Lou’s and concert organizer, said, “They wouldn’t be able to have basketball games and tournaments. If we can help, we will help you.”