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Trustees approve Conservative asbestos action

 


Conservative asbestos action approved

Zach White

A plan to repair the parts of the Havre High School ceiling that had leaked asbestos was recommended by Havre Public Schools Superintendent Andy Carlson and approved by the Board of Trustees at a special meeting Tuesday afternoon.

Carlson alerted the board to the problem during the regular school board meeting on Feb. 8.

He explained at the time that during one of the recent warmer spells, rain got into the roof through the hole and caused some of the asbestos in the building to leak into the rooms and hallways that were closed after the roof initially fell Dec. 30.

"We are doing air-quality testing, " Carlson said at the Feb. 8 meeting. "Your kids, your family are safe. "

The tests conducted after finding out about the problem showed that the asbestos had settled and become "inert, " posing no real threat unless stirred, he said.

The process of cleaning what had leaked and stopping further leaks was put forward in two parts.

The first part, which is happening already, is to clean up the areas of the hallway and rooms that the asbestos got into, including the library and computer lab.

This clean-up is estimated to cost the school $42,000.

An additional $49,000 project would, according to the agenda, "include the entire ceiling area of the affected area and tile in the hallway and Family Consumer Science area. "

In the agenda, the superintendent expressed support for the entire $91,000 project and recommend the board's approval.

At the meeting however, Carlson said that he had talked with various people across the state and decided that it would be better to just complete the first half.

"One of the primary reasons I'm changing my recommendation is that, after speaking with people at the state level, it's best to leave asbestos undisturbed, " Carlson said at Tuesday's meeting.

He said that it was nothing against Saftec, the company that is doing the clean-up and air-testing work, which is bonded and reliable, but that asbestos removal is tricky, especially in the middle of a school semester.

Financial concerns also had a hand in Carlson's change of heart.

He told the board that he was confident that the $42,000 would be covered by the school's insurance, but he was less sure as to whether or not the $49,000 project would. And if it wasn't, then the school would have to pay the amount from its reserves and have to seek reimbursement elsewhere.

"If it was a place we would be doing major remodelling, I would recommend this additional work, " Carlson said. "But I'm not. "

A plan to repair the parts of the Havre High School ceiling that had leaked asbestos was recommended by Havre Public Schools Superintendent Andy Carlson and approved by the Board of Trustees at a special meeting Tuesday afternoon.

Carlson alerted the board to the problem during the regular school board meeting on Feb. 8.

He explained at the time that during one of the recent warmer spells, rain got into the roof through the hole and caused some of the asbestos in the building to leak into the rooms and hallways that were closed after the roof initially fell Dec. 30.

"We are doing air-quality testing, " Carlson said at the Feb. 8 meeting. "Your kids, your family are safe. "

The tests conducted after finding out about the problem showed that the asbestos had settled and become "inert, " posing no real threat unless stirred, he said.

The process of cleaning what had leaked and stopping further leaks was put forward in two parts.

The first part, which is happening already, is to clean up the areas of the hallway and rooms that the asbestos got into, including the library and computer lab.

This clean-up is estimated to cost the school $42,000.

An additional $49,000 project would, according to the agenda, "include the entire ceiling area of the affected area and tile in the hallway and Family Consumer Science area. "

In the agenda, the superintendent expressed support for the entire $91,000 project and recommend the board's approval.

At the meeting however, Carlson said that he had talked with various people across the state and decided that it would be better to just complete the first half.

"One of the primary reasons I'm changing my recommendation is that, after speaking with people at the state level, it's best to leave asbestos undisturbed, " Carlson said at Tuesday's meeting.

He said that it was nothing against Saftec, the company that is doing the clean-up and air-testing work, which is bonded and reliable, but that asbestos removal is tricky, especially in the middle of a school semester.

Financial concerns also had a hand in Carlson's change of heart.

He told the board that he was confident that the $42,000 would be covered by the school's insurance, but he was less sure as to whether or not the $49,000 project would. And if it wasn't, then the school would have to pay the amount from its reserves and have to seek reimbursement elsewhere.

"If it was a place we would be doing major remodelling, I would recommend this additional work, " Carlson said. "But I'm not. "

 

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