CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) – The College’s Community School District sent a letter to families on Wednesday advising them of asbestos exposure at Prairie Crest Elementary School and the safety measures being taken.
The district says that following an inspection and notification on Dec. 22, they closed the building and worked with MNR, OSHA, EPA and a district asbestos contractor to determine the next steps. Currently, they don’t know when the building will be ready for reuse, but they will create a plan for how the classes will operate when the students return from the break.
The letter says that in June, a contractor for a construction project failed to reduce the asbestos found while removing carpet from school hallways.
After being notified in December, one of four air samples came back positive, but the asbestos level was undetermined. A second series of tests, on December 27, was found to be unharmed and no asbestos was detected.
The district says the entire building is cleaned up and downsized to make sure any remaining asbestos fibers are removed. For the rest of the construction project, they also plan to have daily construction supervision.
“We understand that this situation is of great concern and that there will be many questions and concerns from staff, students and parents,” the district said in the letter. “The safety of our students and staff is our number one priority. We are working diligently with the contractors on site to investigate why and how this happened.”
A finalized plan will be sent to parents no later than Sunday January 2 with location information and contact details for classes at the alternate location. They provided a link to a CDC FAQ on asbestos exposure and suggested that doctors could provide more advice.