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More asbestos for Re-1

Pete FowlerGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

CARBONDALE, Colo. Asbestos recently reared its head again for the Roaring Fork School District Re-1.This time it will delay the planned move of Carbondale Middle School students into the old high school and cost the district about $1.1 million. Asbestos removal work reported to cost nearly $1 million was done on Glenwood Springs High School last summer before some of the building was demolished as part of an ongoing expansion.Superintendent Judy Haptonstall said the additional funding will come from the district’s general fund reserves and won’t have a negative impact on the budget.”We’ve got that in the general fund reserves,” she said. “That’s what it’s for – those unplanned things.”The asbestos will also delay Bridges High School, the Roaring Fork Family Resource Centers, the district Information Technology Department and Computers 4 Kids, who plan to move into the old Carbondale Middle School once students and staff there move to the old high school.But high school students will be able to move into the new Roaring Fork High School facility without any problems. Middle school students shouldn’t have any problems other than the inconvenience of the delayed move, originally scheduled for the beginning of the school year.”Instructional plans for the first quarter of school, including a week of outdoor education experiences for each grade level, will not be impacted by the delayed move to the middle school’s new home,” a news release states.Carbondale Middle School will open for classes in the current middle school building on Sept. 4 and move once the work is complete. Haptonstall couldn’t estimate a date when work would be completed, but said the delay might be around six weeks.In the meantime, the eighth grade will occupy four classrooms in two modular buildings located on the old Carbondale Elementary School campus and one science room in the current building.According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a final rule banning most asbestos-containing products was passed in 1989. Haptonstall wasn’t certain exactly when the building was constructed.Asbestos is a naturally occurring fiber used in many older products and construction sites. Exposure or ingestion has been found to cause illnesses including cancer.Superintendent Judy Haptonstall said asbestos wasn’t suspected even though it had been found at GSHS.”We didn’t (suspect it) because we had some other things tested in the building, and we didn’t anticipate that we would find any in the drywall mud,” she said.As part of the old high school’s remodeling, some walls are being torn down to expand rooms, a process that can’t safely be completed without removing asbestos contained in the walls. Haptonstall said the asbestos was found about two weeks ago while testing procedures were being finished up on the building. “Other than being really inconvenient, it isn’t going to be a problem,” she said. “School will go on as planned, and it doesn’t impact the move into the new high school.”Contact Pete Fowler: 945-8515, ext. 16611 pfowler@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO


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