Wednesday, December 08, 2010

School roofs & Asbestos

A couple of comments on the report that Asbestos was found in the collapsed roof at Junction Farm School led me to get further information from Stockton Council Officers.  Rather than post as responses to the individual comments I'll put them here where they might be more visible to all:
There was some asbestos within the roof void of the collapsed ceiling at Junction Farm, however this was encapsulated and presented no risk to any users of the building, which is the case in many schools and public buildings. However in order for the roof to be removed and ultimately replaced, the classroom had to be sealed off and all the asbestos removed. This will allow normal construction activities to begin in replacing the roof.
It is unfortunate that the school had to close, especially after having to close due to the weather conditions recently, however the safety of the children and staff remain our priority.

The Council does regularly inspect all buildings and schools and keep records of condition, including where asbestos is present. Clearly it is an ideal objective to remove all asbestos where possible but health and safety guidance requires that the Council has a management plan for where asbestos is known to be present. Therefore where asbestos is contained within the fabric of a building but it is encapsulated it can remain. Such areas can then be removed when maintenance programmes allow. The safety of building users and staff who carry out maintenance are always the first priority.

Obviously the mention of Asbestos worries people but I hope this is reassuring.
The schools are all open now except Junction Farm where it's hoped the repair work will be completed later in the week.


orchard tax payer said...

You see that 3 paragraphs of correct information can stop dozens of gossiping parents in their tracks !
Well done.

Travis Michael said...

Asbestos is a dangerous material when not handled correctly, but it seems this school district did exactly what they should have given the situation. I applaud this post for calming any panic that might have ensued. Cheers, TM