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Asbestos Fiber Found In Dust At Mount Pleasant Middle School

Westlake Middle School.
Westlake Middle School. Photo Credit: File photo

MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. - Members of the maintenance team at the Mount Pleasant Central School District had to leap into action this week after an unidentified dust fell from the ceiling in a classroom at the Westlake Middle School.

School officials said at the closing of school on Tuesday, district administrators were informed of a small amount of dust that fell from a ceiling. Unaware of the dust’s origin or makeup, officials closed the classroom and began cleaning efforts while a determination regarding the dust could be made.

Since being notified of the incident, Eric Strack, the district’s Director of Facilities, contacted an environmental testing professional and it was determined that the air samples indicated no presence of asbestos, though there was a single fiber that was detected in the dust sample. Officials said that a preliminary review of the results by a professional monitoring firm has determined that there is no hazardous conditions.

In an effort to assuage any concerns of parents or students, the district has announced its intention to professionally clean the classroom and an adjacent room that shares a partition wall. Use of both classrooms has been suspended indefinitely.

Officials noted that over the summer, the roof at Westlake Middle School is scheduled to be replaced.

“This is the first time dust such as this has presented itself to the attention of the administration and custodial staff,” Superintendent Sue Guiney stated. “Like many other school districts, it is not unusual for aging facilities to contain ceiling/floor tiles, pipes or other infrastructure areas with asbestos or asbestos related materials.  

“The district has identified and actively monitors these areas to ensure no hazardous condition exists.  Thanks to voter support of our recent facilities projects, these areas are scheduled to be addressed through our upcoming facilities work and bond renovations.” 

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