Utah County's three school districts expect to reach full compliance with federally ordered asbestos inspections by the Oct. 12 deadline, school officials say.
School districts nationwide are required to complete inspections of school buildings and submit to their respective governor's offices management plans for either removing or encapsulating any of the cancer-causing materials.Since most of the Alpine School District's 45 school buildings were constructed after asbestos was used as insulation material in the mid 1950s and early 1960s, maintenance director Harold Jacklin said he does not anticipate any major problems.
Nevertheless, full inspections are being made of all buildings, and those inspections are two-thirds completed, he said.
If any building material is suspected of containing asbestos, the district must submit samples to the state for testing. If it contains asbestos, the district must take immediate steps to remove it or seal it.
If an area has already been encapsulated, the district must prepare a management plan of regular inspections to make sure it remains safe, and must also warn any builders or repairmen of its presence in case maintenance work is required there.
Jacklin said three tests sent to the state from his district have come back negative. The state has 90 days after the Oct. 12 deadline to approve or reject districts' plans.
In the Provo School District, Phil Lott, director of facilities and transportation, said inspections are nearly complete. He said the district made its first inspections to locate friable asbestos in 1982, and at that time located four places where it was present. The areas all were sealed.
"We plan to remove it. Otherwise, we must take samples every year to determine if it is safe, and file regular incident reports. The regulation is that if asbestos is there, we own it. That includes even buildings we don't own, but lease," Lott said.
"We will meet the Oct. 12 deadline without any problem," he added.
Wayne Stone, of the Nebo School District maintenance department, said the district has a team currently conducting inspections of all buildings.
"Our district is pretty clean," he said. "A few of our older buildings have asbestos thermal wrap on the pipes under the schools, but these were treated several years ago. We removed a lot of asbestos a few years back," he said.