Two classrooms at the Hugh Cole School are closed through at least the end of the week, after workers dealing with burst water pipes discovered asbestos tiles in the music room and under the gym stage.
"The asbestos was not air-borne, it was enclosed," an assistant to school superintendent Dr. Mario Andrade said Thursday morning.
Hugh Cole principal Cindy Giroux sent an email to parents on Wednesday informing them of the discovery, which was made after insurance representatives and school officials assessed the water damage earlier this week. Dr. Andrade's assistant said remediation and cleanup work is underway. Once complete, air quality will be assessed before any decision is made to re-open the closed rooms.
Here is the email Ms. Giroux sent to parents:
Dear parents and guardians:
This letter is to inform you that two classrooms received water damage due to burst pipes. The spaces impacted were the music room/gym stage and room 42. Alternate classrooms have been established so that we can continue with all instruction and student activities.
Upon examination by our insurance company and the Director of Maintenance and Facilities, it was observed that there may be some asbestos tiles under the plywood in the music room and gym stage. The asbestos is encased and not airborne. Therefore, there was not a health risk. However, during the repair of this area, the tiles were exposed but not airborne. Thus, these spaces will require abatement which will be performed over the upcoming weekends. During this process these areas will be in a plastic containment and off limits to students and adults. When the process is complete air testing will be performed. Prior to students and faculty returning to those spaces, the air quality will have to pass the state regulations.
Please contact me with any further questions or concerns.
Cindy L. Giroux, Principal