The Quesnel Junior School gymnasium, closed late Friday afternoon due to health concerns, has now re-opened.
School District Superintendent Sue-Ellen Miller says the cinder blocks in the gym, like in many buildings that were built before the 1990’s, contain vermiculite which in turn contains one percent asbestos.
She says a spill was noticed on the floor of the gym…
“What happened is the custodian followed the safety procedures and we brought in a team , a contractor, that deals with the hazardous materials and then we did air quality testing, and the air quality testing has shown that we are well below any levels of concern, so there are no problems with the gym and the gym has been re-opened.”
Miller says the gym was closed on Monday so that the work could be done and re-opened last night.
She says a note went home to the parents of the students at the school to explain the situation.
We asked Miller if this might expedite the replacement of the school…
“I think there is a very well laid out process for a new school that we have to go through. I think the Ministry is very well aware and concerned about any kind of building materials in any school in the province, and we all know that asbestos was used in lots of building projects up until the 1990’s whether they were schools or homes or whatever, so I don’t believe that this will, but what I do think what it does is it’s just part of our picture of needing to replace this school or renovate this school.”
This is not the first time that something like this has happened at this school.
Miller says the same thing happened in around 2005 when it was Maple Drive, and the gymnastics club experienced a similar issue when they were using the gym after that.
Around 480 students currently attend QJS.