Inspections locate additional asbestos, no risk to students or staff

As part of the district’s ongoing capital project work, our school buildings are being inspected for materials containing asbestos. Results have indicated that there is asbestos in previously unidentified locations in the district, including paint in the elementary school. The paint is contained in the original building that was constructed in 1965.

These inspections, which have been performed by engineers who specialize in asbestos detection and management, were conducted in addition to the routine inspections that the Schuylerville Central School District performs of its facilities on an ongoing basis to ensure safety, health and wellness of employees, students and visitors. The district undergoes an asbestos re-inspection every three years as part of its Asbestos Management Plan (http://www.schuylervilleschools.org/forms-and-policies/#Asbestos). These routine inspections assess areas previously identified as having asbestos. When a district is planning an extensive construction project, the state requires a more thorough inspection to look for any asbestos that may not have been previously identified and monitored.

Health and safety is always a priority of the district, and this new information will enable us to improve our monitoring and maintenance procedures to make sure that we are doing exactly what we need to do to keep everyone safe.

During the inspection of the elementary school, engineers found asbestos in the original paint layer of the 1965 portion of the building. The layer of paint containing asbestos is below additional layers of paint that have been applied to the walls over the years and is therefore not exposed to touch or damage. There is no risk to students or staff coming into contact with asbestos in this area of the building.

While there has been some minor alteration of these walls from surface-mounted objects in the past, there is no evidence that such activity has ever led to anyone being exposed to asbestos. All surfaces are painted, and the latex paint provides sufficient protection to prevent the release of fibers. The district has been assured that the presence of this material in no way is a hazard to our staff or students.  However, going forward, staff and students will be asked not to disturb the surface of the walls, specifically penetrating below the surface of the paint with screws, nails or push pins. Materials can still be hung using tape.

During the capital project renovations, appropriate state regulatory means and methods will be applied to any disturbed areas of renovation.

As the district works through the construction project, updates will continue to be available on the district website.