The cost to remove asbestos in Siren School may cost up to $34,000. A recent survey of the building found that windows installed two years ago may have asbestos in the coating.

As the school moves forward with their referendum project, they need to have an asbestos abatement done before construction crews will begin working. Construction is scheduled to start in May with the goal of having most of it done when students are, hopefully, heading back in September.

Siren custodian Craig Livingston was on the Zoom meeting call and listed off a number of areas inside the school that came back “hot” or showed the presence of asbestos. He added that there is a safety glaze on the windows that may contain asbestos.

Mark Pettis said he wanted the district to find out who did that work and what material was used. The board discussed if there were any actions the board could take to correct the issue.

Other areas identified as “hot” were a pair of science labs, the FACS room and the high school office and guidance areas. The asbestos abatement estimate is $34,065 and it would need to be followed by an air quality test that could be anywhere between $1,500 and $5,000.

“The windows on the north side of the building that we just did two years ago – the glazing on them came back hot for asbestos,” Livingston said.

“So, they probably used prohibited material in the glazing process,” Pettis alleged.

Imme also asked about the materials and how could they be used so recently and have the presence of asbestos.

“It all depends on where they got the materials from,” Livingston said. “Because they do not hold China, Mexico and Canada to the same standards that they hold the U.S. to.”

The United States banned all use of asbestos in 1989, but CESA 10 did warn Livingston that any material used still has the potential to contain asbestos.

Counter tops in the science labs came back hot as well as the interior glaze on the windows. Tile in the hallways also came back hot.

All exterior windows that were recently replaced came back hot.

Pettis asked about grants pertaining to asbestos removal and Livingston said CESA 10 told him there have not been any grants available for 10 years.

Chris Engstrom questioned Livingston for more information about surfaces coming back hot. He said when dealing with led there is a formula for parts per million. Engstrom added that there isn’t an issue with asbestos in the tiles in the hallway until they are tampered with.

Livingston pointed out that not everything that came back hot will be part of the abatement.

“Once you disturb the tile, abatement must be done,” Livingston said. He added that there is new tile being laid down so that hallway will need to be abated for asbestos.

At this point, Duane Emery pointed out that this is a serious issue that needs to be looked into by the board and the school district. He said there is asbestos in the building that will not be under construction over the summer.

“Every time we dig around our school it’s another cost,” Emery said. “Down the line, what happens if the tiles simply break down from wear and tear? One tile comes off and we have to abate the whole hallway. We got to really talk about this and come up with a plan of action.”

He said that cost of $34,000 could rise if the board does not act responsibly on this issue.

The discussion will head back to committee and a decision will need to be made in the near future before construction can begin. It will then need to come back to the full board.

“The longer we take, the longer the delay is before construction can start,” Livingston said.

Electing a new president

At the beginning of the meeting there was a re-organization of the board.

Mark Pettis was voted to School Board President, Chris Engstrom was elected as vice president, Tiffany Meyer was elected as clerk for the board and Susie Imme was elected to continue as board treasurer.

All votes were unanimous.

James Kopecky was also welcomed to the board after winning a contested race in the spring election.