England, UK – Discovery of asbestos during construction work caused a primary school in Merseyside to partially close its building.
Workers found the deadly material on Wednesday at Thomas Gray primary school during renovation work. The amount was much more than anticipated, and school officials were advised by Janet Atherton, Sefton Council’s director of public health to close the building immediately. The junior school is expected to remain closed until the end of the week, but the infant school is still open as no danger is present there.
Earlier today at Thomas Gray, council members briefed parents of the findings. They said that according to their tests, students and staff were not at risk for exposure.
Thomas Gray, a school with 346 students, is in the midst of a major renovation project consisting of the building of four new classrooms and a refurbishment of the junior school.
Building workers knew to expect asbestos in the building due to its age, but the investigation showed that they had underestimated the amount of the cancer-causing material present.
Atherton said the council felt closing the school for the time being was the smart decision because upcoming work would cause more asbestos to become exposed.
Students are currently attending classes at a nearby high school that has opened up several classrooms to help handle the displacement situation.